On 28 September 2018, a series of earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the strongest of which was magnitude 7.4. The results were devastating: in some places the earthquake led to liquefaction, a phenomenon where soil behaves like liquid, with entire villages becoming buried under deep mud. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami which reached up to three metres, striking the regional capital Palu and nearby coastal settlements of Donggala and Mamuju and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Within just 24 hours of launching the appeal, £6 million had been raised; six months later, the total had reached £30 million, including £2 million from the UK Government’s Aid Match scheme. During the first six months of the response (October 2018 to the end of March 2019), DEC funds enabled member charities to provide assistance to more than a quarter of a million people.