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For other uses, see Palu (disambiguation).
Palu is located in Sulawesi
Location of Palu in Sulawesi
Palu is located in Indonesia
Location of Palu in Indonesia
Coordinates: 0°54′S 119°50′E / 0.900°S 119.833°E / -0.900; 119.833
Country Indonesia
Province Central Sulawesi
Founded 27 September 1978
 • Mayor Rusdi Mastura
 • Total 395.06 km2 (152.53 sq mi)
Elevation 118 m (387 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 335,297
 • Density 850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zone WITA (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) UTC (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 451

Palu is a chartered city (kota) on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, 1,650 kilometres (1,030 miles) northeast of Jakarta, at 0°54′S 119°50′E / 0.900°S 119.833°E / -0.900; 119.833Coordinates: 0°54′S 119°50′E / 0.900°S 119.833°E / -0.900; 119.833, at the mouth of Palu River. It is the capital of the province of Central Sulawesi of a long, narrow bay. Because of its sheltered position between mountain ridges, the climate is unusually dry. At the 2010 Census Palu had a population of around 336,300,[1] not including those living in neighbouring regencies.


The city was divided at 2010 into four districts (kecamatan), tabulated below with their 2010 Census population.[2]

Name Population
Census 2010
Palu Barat
(West Palu)
Palu Selatan
(South Palu)
Palu Timur
(East Palu)
Palu Utara
(North Palu)


Palu : the Dutch controleur's residence in the 1930s

The town was part of the Dutch Empire until Indonesia won independence in 1945–49. The Dutch controleur's house survives as a testament of that era.

CIA air raids[edit]

In April 1958 during the Permesta rebellion in North Sulawesi, the USA supported and supplied the rebels. Pilots from a CIA Taiwan-based front organisation, Civil Air Transport, flying CIA B-26 Invader aircraft, repeatedly bombed and machine-gunned targets in and around Palu; destroying vehicles, buildings, a bridge and a ship.[3]

2005 earthquake[edit]

On 24 January 2005 at 04:10 (UTC+8), an earthquake with magnitude 6.2 Richter scale occurred in the city. According to the local meteorological office, the epicenter of the earthquake was around 1.249° S, 119.922° E, some 16 kilometres (10 miles) southeast of Palu at the depth of 30 kilometres (19 miles) of Bora Village's hot spring, Biromaru sub-district, Donggala Regency. Panic ensued as most people sought refuge in the highlands for fear of a repeat disaster like the tsunami as occurred in Aceh. The earthquake killed one person, injured four others, and destroyed 177 buildings.[4][5]

2005 market bombing[edit]

On 31 December 2005 at about 07:35 (UTC +8) a bomb blast at a market at a stall selling pork killed eight people and injured 45 others.[6] An improvised explosive device, described as a nail bomb or similar,[7] detonated around 07:00 in a butcher's market mostly frequented by Christian Minahasa shopping for New Year's Eve celebrations, killing eight people and wounding another 53.[7][8][9]


Palu is served by Mutiara Airport, which is located outside the city center.

Sister cities[edit]

Indonesia Open Paragliding Championship[edit]

Landscape around Palu in the 1980s

Indonesia Open Paragliding Championship is one of the world championship series which it was the first Indonesia Open held in the region on 19–25 June 2011. 78 paragliders taking part in the championship from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland competed at Wayu village (the Matantimali hills, 800 masl) about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Palu.[10]


  1. ^[dead link]
  2. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  3. ^ Conboy, Kenneth; Morrison, James (1999). Feet to the Fire CIA Covert Operations in Indonesia, 1957–1958. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 101, 105, 116, 118, 121. ISBN 1-55750-193-9. 
  4. ^ "Indonesian quake causes panic". BBC News. 24 January 2005. 
  5. ^ "EO Natural Hazards: Earthquake in Sulawesi". 
  6. ^ "Indonesia bomb leaves eight dead". BBC News. 31 December 2005. 
  7. ^ a b "Bombing kills eight at Indonesian market". USA Today. Associated Press. 31 January 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "At least eight killed in Indonesia market blast". News. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Indonesian police detain man after market bombing". ABC Australia. Reuters. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Maruli, Aditia (2011-06-18). "Indonesia hosts paragliding open championship in Palu". Antara News. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Palu at Wikimedia Commons