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Indonesia: Earthquake in Yogyakarta, Java


On Saturday morning, 27th May 2006, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude shook the area around Indonesia’s ancient royal city of Yogyakarta on the island of Java. The quake devastated an area already facing the threat of a volcanic eruption from Mount Merapi and flattened substandard housing in many poor village communities.


Damaged houses in Bantul Village, Jogyakarta.

Impact on Lives and Homes

Striking at the crack of dawn, while many were still asleep, the quake has claimed the lives of an estimated 4,000-5,000 people according to official government figures. Up to 20,000 people were injured while more than 100,000 people lost their homes according to UN sources. In the area surrounding the city of Yogyakarta, 45,000 houses were destroyed and reconstruction work is estimated to cost more than US$100 million.

On 29th May 2006, the Indonesian government declared a state of emergency. The three-month emergency period was aimed at providing food, healthcare and shelter to an estimated 50,000 people. The Indonesian government pledged to complete “reconstruction and rehabilitation” within a year.

Habitat for Humanity Indonesia has its roots in Yogyakarta where it built its first house. In Yogyakarta, the Saturday earthquake damaged 25 Habitat homes in Gunung Kidul and Klaten districts. Habitat does not have any homepartners in Bantul, the area south of Yogyakarta that was hardest hit by the earthquake. More than 3,000 deaths were reported in Bantul.

Habitat’s Response

Through its local volunteer network, Habitat’s Yogyakarta affiliate is supporting and helping to co-ordinate local partner organizations in the immediate aftermath. HFH International and national Indonesian staff have joined the local affiliate to conduct a joint assessment of the damage.

A Habitat Resource Center for Disaster Response (HRC) will be set up to co-ordinate a long-term response. Through the HRC, Habitat will be able to provide technology for new house construction, support for repairs and renovations, construction management, and technical support for survivors and other aid agencies, and material and logistics support as needed. The HRC will manage Habitat volunteer teams that will be building in the disaster area when the situation stabilizes.

HFH Indonesia used the HRC model to meet long-term shelter needs for 8,000 tsunami-affected families in Indonesia. The December 2004 earthquake and resultant tsunami left 170,000 people dead or missing around the Indonesian province of Aceh.

International Call for Action

Habitat for Humanity’s Global Collaborative Network of HFH national organizations around the world are invited to join HFH Indonesia in providing meaningful and lasting support to the people of Yogyakarta.  

HFH Indonesia is appealing for donations for those affected by this devastating earthquake. These funds will be used for the urgent setting up of the Habitat Resource Center(s) to expedite the provision of services needed for the repairs and reconstructions of homes devastated by the earthquake.

Donations to the Indonesian Earthquake Appeal 2006 will support communities affected by the recent Java earthquake and will be used for the following activities:

To support the repairs and renovations of houses through the setting up of Habitat Resource Center(s) in the affected area;

To fund the deployment of specialist construction and community development workers to assist in this response; and

To provide continued support to HFH Indonesia to build disaster response support capacity at the national level.