A boy receives treatment following the earthquake

Indonesia Tsunami

Indonesia Tsunami

A 7-year-old boy receives treatment after being injured in the earthquake in Palu, Indonesia. Image: The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

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Key achievements after six months

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people were provided with emergency shelter in the immediate aftermath 

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people gained access to safe drinking water

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people received seeds, tools and equipment to restore their livelihoods

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families received cash to meet their immediate needs

On 28 September 2018 a series of catastrophic earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a tsunami which reached three meters in height. In the aftermath, the DEC’s Indonesia Tsunami Appeal brought life-saving aid to tens of thousands of people.

When earthquakes of up to 7.4 magnitude hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi the results were devastating. A terrifying tsunami, which reached three metres in places, was triggered, striking the regional capital Palu and nearby coastal settlements of Donggala and Mamuju and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. In some areas the earthquake turned the ground into liquid mud, destroying entire villages. 

Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed and entire communities decimated. At least 4,340 people were killed in the disaster, and another 4,400 people were seriously injured. 


for this appeal, including £2 million matched by the UK Government. Thank you!

Two children make mud castles in Petobo camp

One family's escape from liquefaction

Dewi*, right, had to be pulled from the mud by her hair as her family fled. Image: Kathleen Prior/DEC

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Watch Indonesia Tsunami: Escaping Liquefaction on YouTube.

The disaster left 200,000 survivors in need of humanitarian assistance, around a quarter of whom were children. At the start of 2019, 133,000 people were still displaced, with many living in tents and reliant on aid.

DEC member charities and their Indonesian partners worked closely with national authorities to provide shelter and clean water while helping survivors to cope with trauma and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

A family whose home is being rebuilt

Ibrahim and his family in their new home which is still under construction in Donggala, Indonesia. Image: Hariandi Hafid/DEC

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When the earthquake hit, Ibrahim, 51, and his family managed to escape to higher ground. They returned to find that their home had been destroyed, so DEC member Save the Children gave them material for a temporary shelter.

But living in the shelter wasn't easy, and it flooded during the rainy season. Save the Children gave Ibrahim's family with a cash grant which he is using to build a new house.

“We started to build this house one month ago,” he says, holding back tears. “I’m completely happy right now. I’ve been wishing for a house for a long time. We are very grateful. I’m very proud that I am building this house.”

Your generous donations provided cash grants for 10,000 families like Ibrahim’s, and emergency shelter for 59,000 people.