Main Navigation

Indonesia Earthquake 2009

The situation

On 30 September, an earthquake struck 57km southeast of the city of Padang in West Sumatra followed by a second earthquake. On 1 October a further earthquake struck in neighbouring Jambi province.

Almost 300,000 houses were either destroyed and damaged. Classrooms, roads, offices and places of worship were also damaged.

Electricity was restored in Padang district and temporary shelters constructed for homeless families in the cities of Padang and Pariaman. Many rural areas remained inaccessible - which proved a major obstacle to providing humanitarian assistance.

As search and rescue operations concluded, the relief effort shifted into the six-month rehabilitation and reconstruction phase. Authorities expect the rehabilitation process to take some years.

The priority humanitarian needs included emergency shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, food and nutrition, education and health.

Red Cross response

Indonesian Red Cross sent more than 300 volunteers to help with the relief efforts, from relief distributions to logistics and emergency health and care, first aid and supplying water to 24,500 people a day.

The Restoring Family Links team reunited 16 people separated by the disaster.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society's (IFRC) Regional Logistics Unit organised seven flights between 12 to 18 October, delivered 45 tonnes of relief cargo.

Australian Red Cross equipment (shelter kits, jerry cans, tarpaulins) was delivered on one of the flights.

Two Australian Red Cross aid workers were on the ground in Padang to help coordinate shelter for those who had been displaced.


Red Cross maintains a database of aid workers who are able to be sent to disaster zones. All of these aid workers have undertaken a Red Cross induction program. If you are interested in working for Red Cross in the future, you need to complete this program.

for more information see our aid worker page [***link***]

The Indonesian Earthquake 2009 appeal is now closed.

Australian Red Cross would like to thank people who have contributed to the Appeal. Organisers of fundraising events have until 10 December 2009 to send in the money collected to Red Cross, unless other arrangements have been made with Red Cross. For information on how to send Red Cross proceeds of fundraising events please call 1800 811 700 or email

Donations made to the Indonesian Earthquake 2009 appeal will be used to support:

  • Support relief, rehabilitation and recovery activities for communities affected by the disaster in Sumatra
  • Send specialist aid workers to assist in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response.
  • Support Australian Red Cross programs of assistance in the affected areas

Note: Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in Indonesia. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies website [***link***]
Double quake rocks western Sumatra
(01/10/09) (opens in new window)

Palang Merah Indonesia (Indonesian Red Cross) website [***link***]
Up-to-date information about the local response, including latest news and situation updates.