Charities support tsunami stricken Indonesia

Palu tsunami web

Sciaf has launched an emergency appeal, with more than 800 deaths confirmed in the Indonesian city of Palu

1st October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish charities have stepped in to provide aid to disaster-stricken Indonesia.

An earthquake and tsunami on Friday has killed more than 800 people, with those on the ground warning that the number may rise substantially.

And this has prompted a response from organisations including the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf).

Indonesia’s disaster agency said the death toll stands at 832, with nearly all of those in the hard-hit city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, however areas around the city are yet to be fully assessed.

Sciaf has launched an emergency appeal, having responded to similar crises in Thailand and Haiti. Director Alistair Dutton said: “Responding to a disaster of this magnitude presents huge challenges. Limited communications, damaged roads, bridges and airports, access to remote areas, all make it extremely difficult to get emergency aid to survivors quickly.

“Caritas Indonesia has sent teams from the surrounding dioceses to help people in the area. These are badly hampered by interruptions to communications and transport but they are quickly trying to assess the situation and find out what people need.  

“The urgent priorities will be burials, water, food and temporary shelter, and disease outbreaks and public health are already significant concerns. Our partners and others are doing everything they can to get help to people as quickly as possible.”

Mercy Corps has said it is considering whether to respond to the situation, whilst International Rescue was said to be monitoring events closely.

Oxfam’s Indonesia director Maria Lauranti has said the amounts of people conformed as dead will definitely increase, whilst the Red Cross has sent hundreds of volunteers to Palu.

Christian Aid said it will support the delivery of food, shelter, clean water, sanitation and other relief supplies to the area. 

Madara Hettiarachchi, Christian Aid’s head of humanitarian programmes for Asia and Middle East, said: “We are deeply saddened by the devastation triggered by the earthquake and tsunami: it has wrecked lives, torn apart communities and caused untold suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.

“As the rubble is cleared in the coming days and week, we expect the death toll to rise. Right now, many survivors are being forced to sleep in the open, in fear of further aftershocks. Many communities are cut off from the outside world, with power supplies and telecommunications down. Food and water supplies will be running low. Medical services are under severe strain."

On Sunday night, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, called for support from the country’s foreign partners.

“There are many challenges,” he said. “We have to do many things soon, but conditions do not allow us to do so.”