International SOS deploys on-the-ground incident management team to Sulawesi

01 October 2018 ,  Singapore

International SOS has deployed an incident management team to Sulawesi to assist and support clients following the 7.5-magnitude earthquake which occurred on 28 September at 18.02 (local time) at a depth of six miles (10km), around 50 miles (80km) north of Palu.

The incident management team, comprising of medical, security and logistics specialists, arrived on 1 October to assess the medical and security risks and transportation/evacuation options should there be a requirement.

International SOS has also established a Crisis Management Team, based out of the Singapore and Jakarta Assistance Centres, to provide information and support clients who are concerned for their international assignees and travelling employees, as well as clients who are deploying employees to focus on humanitarian assistance and discovery recovery efforts.

The earthquake was preceded by several foreshocks, the largest of which had a magnitude of 6.1, while at least 55 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 2.9 to 6.3 have subsequently occurred. The 7.5-magnitude tremor also triggered a tsunami wave up to 10 feet (3 metres) which struck Talise Beach in Palu and parts of the nearby Donggala coast.

The situation remains fluid and the authorities are currently faced with limitations in fully assessing the extent of the damage and disruption. Power cut and telecommunications outage have been reported in Palu. Palu’s Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport (PLW) is due to fully reopen on 4 October, but is currently serving limited commercial flights.

Damage has also been reported in Donggala (Central Sulawesi) and Mamuju regencies (West Sulawesi); however, details of the extent of impact are not yet available.


- Continue to defer non-essential travel to Palu city and Donggala regency in the coming days while the full extent of damage and disruption still remains unclear.
- Those on essential travel should ensure that they maintain flexible itineraries as short-notice and intermittent disruption to travel due to aftershocks can still occur, potentially lasting several days. Ensure you have access to sufficient cash and accommodation, with ample supplies and robust infrastructure.
- We do not hold information on specific flights. Reconfirm the status of flights with the relevant airport or your airline. Your travel agency can assist with alternative arrangements if your flight is cancelled.

For the latest information and advice, International SOS members are advised to contact their Assistance Centre, register for email alerts and review the travel security updates on Travel Security Online and through the International SOS Portal.

We also advise clients and members to download the International SOS Assistance App, here.

Notes to Editors

About International SOS and Control Risks

Our alliance brings together two of the world’s leading medical and security specialists, International SOS and Control Risks. Our combined resources and expertise are well placed to meet the customers’ growing need for integrated travel security risk services. Our solutions ensure that mobile employees are safe and productive and help employers with their duty of care obligations. 50 dedicated experts, located across the globe with access to over 200 dedicated travel security experts through 26 regional Assistance Centres and a partner network of over 700 accredited providers, produce global travel security information and analysis 24/7. We also provide travel security training, preventative travel assessment, support with the development of travel security risk policies, evacuation plans and the latest technology to enable clients to track and communicate with their mobile employees.