Left: Planet imagery of the naval base in Palu Bay dated 29 Sept. 2018 / Right: 22 Sept. 2018
Satellite imagery acquired by Planet Labs shows significant damage to a recently renovated naval base in Palu Bay. Plans to berth the Indonesian Navy’s submarines at the facility will be delayed until workers make repairs and clear underwater debris. While the pier that was recently expanded remains intact, the quay wall and environmental shelter covering the submarine berthing area have been destroyed. On 28 September 2018 waves from a tsunami struck the naval base overtopping the quay wall where enough pressure was created to loosen the backfill and overturn the structure forcing it away from shore and into the water. As a result, the majority of the wall is submerged and no longer visible. Other structures near the shore also appear damaged on Planet’s 3 meter imagery.
To date, Indonesian authorities report that more than 1,500 people have been killed and over 100,000 others displaced by the natural disaster. More than 70,000 homes were destroyed or damaged after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake launched waves of up to six-meters high that slammed into Sulawesi at approximately 500 miles per hour.