Emergency response to Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami

Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi) is supporting the emergency effort following the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami.
  22 Oct 2018    |      2 min

Images of destruction caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi have filled our screens in recent weeks. Buildings and bridges have collapsed or been washed away in mudslides. Communities and livelihoods have been wrecked.

Official figures put the number of dead at around 2,000 but this rises daily. Hundreds and possibly thousands of people are unaccounted for. The Red Cross estimated that in total 1.6 million people have been affected.

Friends of the Earth responds to Sulawesi earthquake

Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi) has been on hand before to help in the wake of natural disasters, particularly those exacerbated by deforestation and palm oil plantations. In 2015, devastating forest fires hit Sulawesi and Walhi helped to create safe spaces where people could seek shelter.

Walhi has 12 staff members in its Sulawesi office. This time it has been mobilising a network of volunteers to help with the rescue effort in Makassar, Manado, Gorontalo and Poso. They've been assisting families who have become separated – and setting up emergency shelters.

"We decided to help with the relief effort because in our experience the government is often late helping people affected by disasters," says Walhi activist Zenzi Suhadi.

How you can help

Walhi is receiving messages of solidarity under the hashtag #prayforpalu.

Friends of the Earth around the world

Our network of Friends of the Earth groups in many countries work closely with local communities. They support environmental and social campaigns as well as respond to disasters.

In recent weeks, Friends of the Earth Philippines, US and Haiti have also supported communities in the face of floods, typhoons or earthquakes.