The devastation in Palu from Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 1, 2018 – Americares is responding to the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that generated a deadly tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The earthquake toppled buildings and destroyed roads while a towering 20-foot wave washed over coastal communities on Friday, killing more than 840 people and forcing at least 48,000 people from their homes. The death toll, mostly from the city of Palu, is expected to rise as rescue workers struggle to reach some of the hardest-hit areas.
An estimated 2.4 million people have been affected by the double disaster, according to the Indonesian disaster management agency. The government has requested international aid to help survivors access food, water, medical supplies and other necessities.
“Our first priority is meeting survivors’ most urgent health needs,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel. “Our emergency response experts are headed to the impact zone ready to help families affected by the disaster.”
Americares is deploying emergency response experts from the United States and Jakarta to assess survivors’ health needs and assist partner organizations responding to the crisis. The health-focused relief and development organization stocks emergency medicine and relief supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis.
The tragedy is the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire.”
In August, Americares responded to a powerful earthquake that shook the island of Lombok with medical supplies and equipment for health facilities and psychological first aid for relief workers responding to the crisis. In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people throughout Southeast Asia.
In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Americares completed a $50 million aid program that rebuilt hospitals, schools, water systems and livelihoods for survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. In all, the organization built or renovated more than 40 health care facilities across Southeast Asia.
Americares responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.
Donations to Americares Worldwide Disaster Relief Fund will support its earthquake response in Indonesia. To donate, go to americares.org/worldwide