Updates: Indonesia Tsunami Emergency
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Follow our updates on the Indonesia Tsunami Emergency
Promoting healthy hygiene practices
We’re working with local partners to run demonstrations on good hygiene in the aftermath of September’s powerful earthquake and tsunami.
Children in Palu participated in these workshops and learnt about reducing illness through proper hand washing and other healthy hygiene practices.
Status Update: The situation in Indonesia
With the recent delivery of urgent supplies such as water treatment units, Oxfam are working with local partners to distribute clean water and hygiene kits to affected communities.
We couldn’t have done this without the generous support of all the Australians who have donated.
Thank you for helping us provide life-saving aid in Indonesia.
Hygiene kits now arriving in Palu
Our hygiene kits contain:
– Soap and detergent
– Sanitary pads
– Insect repellant
– Toothbrushes and toothpaste
In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami disaster, clean water and sanitation is a critical problem. This is because water pipes have been destroyed and there is a severe shortage of clean water and toilets to prevent the spread of disease.
Our work in Sulawesi is just beginning. Thousands of tsunami survivors still don’t have access to clean water and sanitation.
We aim to provide half a million people with clean water and other essential aid, like hygiene kits.
Australian Government to support Indonesia following earthquake and tsunami
The Australian Government will support survivors of the earthquake and tsunami with the announcement of $2 million of funding through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.
Thanks to you, emergency clean water has arrived
Oxfam teams are on the ground in Sulawesi, providing emergency clean water to families in need. We need to reach 500,000 people with urgent aid — so our work is just beginning. Thank you for your generous support. None of this is possible without you.
Tsunami survivors face long queues for clean water
The emergency system for distributing clean water in Palu is under strain to meet demand, as thousands of people spend an eleventh night sleeping outdoors.
Oxfam water engineer Bagus Setyawan said that with the temperature often reaching 35C during the day, people were desperate for water.
“Long queues of people appear next to the water truck in the crumbling city of Palu,” Mr Setyawan said. “They may have to queue several times a day as they do not have suitable containers in which to store water.”
Water pipes were damaged in the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck on 28 September, and the city has become dependent on a fleet of water trucks that are under huge strain to meet demand.
Thanks to your generous support, we are bringing in water treatment equipment that can produce 20 litres of clean water per minute from a bore hole – enough for around 500 people per day. More equipment is due to arrive in the coming days, which will increase capacity by six times.
We will also be distributing 1,000 hygiene kits consisting of a safe container for transporting water, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary towels.
Stories from the ground: Ronald
Ronald, 32, lives in Balaroa — a small rural village on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Last week, Ronald’s father disappeared into a sinkhole — he was one of the many people killed after the earthquake hit the island, triggering a devastating tsunami.
Heroically, Ronald was able to save six other family members, including his mother, sisters, brother and nephews.
Now, he faces the devastating reality of rebuilding his family’s life. You can help by making a donation to supply families like Ronald’s with urgent, lifesaving aid.
ABC: Aid finally trickling in to Palu as logistical hurdles ease
Aid is now reaching devastated parts of Sulawesi, one week since the earthquake and tsunami struck the Indonesian island. Oxfam’s Irwan Fidaus speaks to ABC News about the relief efforts that your donations make possible.
Oxfam’s first supply shipment dispatched for Palu
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, was in Makassar, Indonesia, this afternoon where our first shipment of supplies — 1,000 hygiene kits — was dispatched for Palu.
Stories from the ground: Abdul
Abdul Azis lost his two children when his whole village was swallowed by the liquification effects triggered by the earthquake.
“The land around my home was cracking and then my house was suddenly wiped out and gone and I knew my two children were in there,” he recalls.
Abdul said his daughter, aged 13, and his 2-year-old son, were plunged into the earth together with their home. “It happened so fast … In only seconds my house collapsed and the earth under my home fell away.” He says his wife did not want to admit the reality that their much-loved children were gone. “She kept looking around for our children even though I told her clearly that our children have gone,” he said.
Stories from the ground: Iren
Many thousands of families have been displaced by this emergency — families like Iren and her children. Iren’s house collapsed when the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck. She has spent the past six nights in an emergency shelter. She is pictured here caring for her 7-month-old baby.
Urgent need for clean water in tsunami-hit Sulawesi
Clean water is in short supply on Sulawesi, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Here’s what Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager in Indonesia, Ancilla Bere, says:
“Oxfam is working to deliver water purification units as soon as possible and scaling up our response to reach 500,000 people with clean water and essential aid supplies such as hygiene kits, water kits and shelter packs.
“In many areas of Palu and surrounding towns, there is no running water and few working toilets – and sanitation is a serious concern.”
“The difficulty of getting equipment and supplies into Palu, because of damage to roads, bridges and the airport, is still hampering response efforts.”
Today’s key updates
The scale of this disaster is immense. Sadly, more than 1,400 people have lost their lives — and there are fears the death toll will continue to rise. As many as 300,000 people are homeless, after last week’s earthquake and tsunami tore apart villages and homes on Sulawesi island.
Water is a critical issue, as pipes and supply networks were damaged in the earthquake. Many affected communities do not have clean, running water.
Oxfam is working to deliver emergency water supply as soon as possible, so that people in need have clean water. We are scaling up our response to reach half a million people with water and other essential aid, such as clothing, hygiene kits and emergency shelter packs.
The first 1,000 hygiene kits, containing water purification equipment and soap, are expected to arrive in Palu on Monday.
With so many people devastated by this emergency, our teams are working hard to help affected communities in Sulawesi. But we cannot do this without public support.
You can help us provide urgent aid. Click here to make a lifesaving donation.
SBS News: Ex-pats raise thousands for Indonesia as they await news from missing loved ones
“We know that Australians have always been generous especially to our neighbours in times of emergency responses.” — Oxfam Australia humanitarian manager, Meg Quartermaine, speaking to SBS News.
Stories from the ground: Anjas
What we know so far
Since Friday, there have been more than 254 aftershocks, ranging from a magnitude of 2.9 to 6.3.
The death toll is still expected to climb steeply over the coming days.
It is the most devastating earthquake to hit Indonesia since 2004.
Watch our Facebook Live Q&A with Oxfam Australia humanitarian manager, Meg Quartermaine:
How Oxfam is helping
Clean water is vital, especially as the water supply infrastructure and pipes in Sulawesi have been critically damaged.
Sanitation, soap and working toilets are also crucial to stop the spread of disease.
It was only 4 months ago that our in-country staff were mobilised to respond to the Lombok earthquakes in July and the recovery from the Lombok disaster is still ongoing.
What are the challenges on the ground?
Accessing the affected regions is a challenge at this stage.
The main road linking the city of Palu to the rest of Central Sulawesi has been blocked off by a landslide, and other infrastructure such as electricity and water pipes are very badly damaged or destroyed. It is also hard to find fuel to buy in the main city of Palu.
This is making reaching people difficult — we’re hearing from Indonesia that it is taking 30 hours to transport supplies from the nearest functioning port, Makassar, to the worst-affected areas. But despite these difficulties, Oxfam teams and local partners are working hard to ensure that aid is urgently on its way to the people who need it.
Where is Sulawesi?
Sulawesi is an Indonesian island, about 1,600kms off the coast of the Northern Territory.
The island is made up of six smaller provinces West Sulawesi (Mamuju), North Sulawesi (Manado), Central Sulawesi (Palu), South Sulawesi (Makassar), South East Sulawesi (Kendari), Gorontalo (Gorontalo).
The largest city in Sulawesi is Makassar.
The island of Sulawesi has a total population of 17.4 million people.
Timeline of events
Friday 28th September
- Late Friday night Australian time, a huge 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.
- The tremor was followed by a large tsunami about 15 minutes later, which destroyed or damaged hundreds of houses along the coast.
Saturday 29th September
- Oxfam prepare to respond in Indonesia after the earthquake and tsunami.
- Oxfam’s Country Director in Indonesia, Maria Lauranti, said Oxfam partners and staff in the town of Palu were safe and prepared to provide emergency aid to those affected.
Sunday 30th September
- Confirmed death toll sits at around 400 people.
- Oxfam and its local partners assess damage in coastal towns.
- Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Helen Szoke says Oxfam are looking to provide water, sanitation, emergency medical and health shelter, and emergency hygiene items, once it was safe to do so.
Monday 1st October
- Bodies start to be buried in mass graves once they have been identified.
- Indonesian Government requests international assistance as they announces more than 2 million people have been affected.
- Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency says at least 1,200 people have been killed and hundreds of houses and buildings have collapsed.
- Palu airport is operating at half capacity, making access difficult.
- Oxfam’s local partners prepare to reach 100,000 people in Palu city and the Donggala district with essential aid.
Tuesday 2nd October
- Oxfam sets up an emergency operation hub in Makassar.
- Oxfam stands ready to deploy additional staff and resources to the area.
- Oxfam have scaled up their response efforts and are now planning to provide life-saving humanitarian support to over 500,000 people.
Wednesday 3rd October
- Thousands of children and adults are still unaccounted for.
- Search and rescue operations are still ongoing.
- Oxfam’s first response team reaches Palu and joins local partners on emergency assessments.