Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Indonesia, typhoons in the Philippines: TSF is active on all fronts

These last months have been marked by several natural disasters around the world. Our partner, Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF) has intervened during each crisis to assess the situation, restore communications and allow the coordination of humanitarian actions.



Satellite Connections in Indonesia


In response to the earthquakes that struck Indonesia between July 28 and September 28, TSF has been supporting the affected populations on the island of Lombok and is currently working on the Island of Sulawesi.


Less than 24 hours after the Lombok earthquake on August 5, TSF deployed teams with satellite technology necessary to restore emergency communications. With communications disrupted and the electrical grid damaged, it isolates the population and stops them from having access to the internet or recharge their cell phone battery. In case of the absence of internet, the alternative options like Facebook or WhatsApp cannot be utilised, making the TSF’s support essential.


On September 28, following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, 10 km deep, a tsunami formed 30 minutes later and hit the Sulawesi Island. At least 1,200 people were killed and 48,000 were displaced.


TSF was solicited by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to reinforce the support of their emergency response and evaluation teams (ERAT) to the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) and local authorities.


As soon as they arrived in Palu, one of the most highly affected areas, TSF engineers installed an Internet connection for the humanitarian coordination centre to the benefit of ERAT and other on-site organizations. This satellite connection facilitates the work of humanitarian actors. They can send their reports and transmit information on humanitarian needs. This connection is also important for the logistics organisation from Jakarta and Makassar. In parallel, TSF continues to assess the needs North and South of Palu, to the localities closest to the epicentre. The teams carry out mobile humanitarian calling operations in isolated communities to enable them to contact their relatives, but also to seek help.


Click here for an update about this mission.


Relief Coordination in the Philippines


Four days after the Mangkhut typhoon, the rescue teams were still working to find the people who had disappeared during the torrential rains and mudslides. In this context, telecommunications are essential to act quickly and coordinate relief operations.


The TSF teams provided emergency connections at two sites.


In Ucab, TSF installed a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) to facilitate communications between emergency services and volunteers in search of survivors under the rubble. Five kilometres away, TSF established a connection in an evacuation centre to allow more than 100 people to contact their relatives and family free of charge.




The actions quickly implemented by the NGO Télécoms Sans Frontières after a natural disaster make them a key player in emergency response. As a reminder (for the employees in France): You can support TSF’s intervention capacity by participating in the act of rounding up your salary* by clicking here


The Microdon payroll giving scheme allows all Thales employees in France to support a charity project by donating a few cents from their paycheck each month and, if they wish, by making an additional donation of up to 10 euros. 100% of the donations go to the association and the Group has agreed to match employee donations. The payroll giving scheme requires no commitment; microdonors can change the amount they give, end their participation, or donate to a different project at any time.


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