9 October 2018

CWS appeals for survivors of Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami

Christian World Service is appealing for donations to support the survivors of last month's disaster in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake on September 28 was followed by a tsunami with waves reaching up to 6 metres high and speeds that could have reached 400 kilometres an hour. 

Nearly 2,000 people have been confirmed dead, 74,444 displaced and over 1.1 million affected.  Numbers are expected to rise further.  An estimated 65,733 houses are damaged and electricity has only been partly restored.  Hungry survivors have stopped relief deliveries before they reach their intended destination.

The high level of damage has slowed recovery efforts.  The tsunami and earthquake cut off roads and ports. Palu's small airport was damaged. Landslides threaten to cause further harm to isolated communities.  Aftershocks continue and the threat of diseases like malaria remain as heavy rainfall is predicted in the next few weeks. Families have survived on what they could salvage from quake damaged ruins but these supplies are disappearing fast.

 "The people of Central Sulawesi have been through a terrible ordeal.  They need food, water, shelter and more in the weeks ahead.  ACT Alliance Indonesia is working closely with authorities to coordinate their response to get help to the most vulnerable people including pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly.  Please give generously to help the survivors," says Pauline McKay, National Director Christian World Service.

"We are grateful for a steady stream of donations since we launched the appeal last week, but more is needed to continue relief efforts," she adds.

Indonesia has banned foreign nongovernmental organisations from operating without approval and insists they support the local response. 

Local ACT Alliance Indonesia members experienced the first quake and immediately helped in recovery efforts.  The first medical team began operations on October 1 after a 24 hour overland trip.  They are providing medical care and psychosocial support in the grounds of the Grand Mosque in Palu. Local staff have distributed the first relief shipments including food, tarpaulins, sleeping mats, bottled water and hygiene kits.  Water has been distributed to 2,000 people who had received none in Sigi District.  Three medical teams have been deployed to assist in a variety of capacities, including anaesthetists for Palu's Samaritan Hospital. More help is on the way.

Churches have opened their doors for those needing help and are assisting with burials and prayers. 

CWS is appealing for funds for the humanitarian response run by ACT Alliance Indonesia (Action by Churches Together).  Members are coordinating their efforts and finalising their plans.

Donations can be made:

·        On line and by direct deposit to the Indonesia Earthquake Tsunami Appeal

·        By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72

·        By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140

CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of 150 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 125 countries.

For more information, please contact: Pauline McKay, National Director pauline.mckay@cws.org.nz  Phone: 03 366 9274, Mobile: 021 289 1225