BUiLD Project Consortium Visits Site of Sulawesi Triple Disaster

On the second day of the Consortium Meeting hosted by Universitas Muhammadiyah Palu, the group visited some of the sites that had been affected by the triple disaster that destroyed parts of the local areas in 2018. On September, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck with its epicentre located in the mountainous Donggala Region in Central Sulawesi. Following the quake, a localised tsunami struck Palu destroying many of the buildings on the shoreline. The combined effects led to the deaths of over 4,000 people

The earthquake also triggered the largest liquefaction event ever recorded. In two locations, mudflows submerged parts of villages causing thousands of death. The Consortium were given the opportunity to speak to a survivor of this event who described the moment when the ground turned into a liquid substance and and hundreds of houses including their inhabitant sank into the soil.

The disaster damaged over 70,000 houses and forced tens of thousands people to live in provisional shelters. Nearly 3,000 schools were damaged affecting over 100,000 pupils and 20,000 teachers. 9,718 hectares of crops were damaged.

Universitas Muhammadiyah Palu is built on what is classed as earthquake-safe ground. The institution, which provided shelters on its main campus, joined the BUiLD Consortium after the event with the aspiration to create a local Centre of Excellence that could assist with with the recovery of the area and with future disaster mitigation efforts. One initiative pursued by the centre focuses on assisting individuals and families who have lost their entire existence to create entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves.