StEER Releases EARR on Palu Earthquake & Tsunami

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

On September 28, 2018, at 17:02 local time (10:02 UTC), a magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred with an epicenter 78km North of Palu, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, at a depth of 10 km. The earthquake was caused by movement on a strike-slip fault known as the Palu-Koro Fault. The city of Palu, with a population of 336,000 based on a 2010 census, is located in an alluvial valley at the end of the narrow Palu Bay. Preliminary tsunami modeling reported by CATnews indicates that the bathymetry of the Palu Bay increased the tsunami wave amplitude significantly compared with other coastlines outside of the bay. As of writing this report the death toll is estimated to be over 2200 due to both earthquake and tsunami, with over 1000 still missing. This is approximately 1% of the population of Palu. There were nearly 4500 injured during the event, representing about 1.3% of the population of Palu. Around 75,000 were displaced because of damage to housing due to the earthquake, tsunami and lateral spreading induced by liquefaction. This Early Access Reconnaissance Report (EARR) provides an overview of the Palu Earthquake and Tsunami, StEER’s event response, and preliminary findings based on the first Field Assessment Team’s (FAT-1) collected data. Access the full report HERE.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI 1841667. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of StEER and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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