How You Can Help People Affected By The Indonesia Tsunami Disaster

A massive relief effort is underway in Indonesia, where more than 1,300 people have died and tens of thousands more have been displaced after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi last Friday, triggering a tsunami which reached heights of 20ft (6m).

Credit: Indonesian Red Cross
Credit: Indonesian Red Cross

It has taken days for the scale of the devastation to emerge, with buildings left destroyed and communications shattered - meanwhile Gamalama, which makes up the Ternate island, today became the third volcano to erupt in the region since the intitial earthquake, sending ash up to 20,000ft (610m) into the sky.

These issues make it difficult for the correct aid to make it to those in need in the city of Palu and other affected areas.

However, British Red Cross, Action Aid DEC Indonesian Tsunami Appeal and Save the Children are among the charities and non-for-profit organisations appealing the public to help raise money for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster.

The earthquake caused a tsunami to sweep into the city of Palu, where rescuers are frantically searching for survivors beneath the rubble.

Giant waves caused the deaths of many as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town.

Scores of families are missing among the debris of the thousands of buildings that were swept away or demolished.

Around 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes, while hospitals have also been at the mercy of the sheer destruction.

More than 90 volunteers and staff from the Indonesian Red Cross - another branch of the Red Cross charity - were on the ground immediately after the incidents took place.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Their first priorities are search and rescue, medical support and distributing emergency relief supplies. They are also comforting terrified survivors and have set up an emergency kitchen to provide meals to people who had to leave their homes.

Hundreds of villagers have joined the Red Cross, and Indonesia's police, armed forces and local government agencies to rescue survivors.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Save the Children are also out to help the 600,000 youngsters effected by the disasters and by raising money they plan to distribute tents, tarpaulins and blankets to keep families who have lost their homes safe.

They also aim to provide families with essential hygiene items to help prevent the spread of deadly diseases, as well as identifying children who have been separated from their families to help reunite them, or access alternative care such as psycho-social support and distribute school kits so that children's education isn't interrupted.

Action Aid are currently on the ground in Palu and has a network of volunteers working in Donggala, delivering essential, life-saving supplies.

Mike Noyes, ActionAid UK's head of humanitarian resilience and response, told LADbible: "The volcano that erupted this morning in North Sulawesi, throwing volcanic ash into the air is now a new, and grave concern for people in the area, and our response and rescue effort.

"Since last week our local team have been involved in the search and rescue effort for those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi. Every day counts, and we urgently need more support to help save lives.

"The scale of damage in the affected areas is huge, so many are still desperately searching for family members who are trapped under the rubble and thousands searching or food, and shelter.

"Our local team is on the ground in Palu and has a network of volunteers working in Donggala, delivering essential, life-saving supplies. We are also conducting a rapid assessment of Sigi, where liquefaction caused a whole village to disappear.

"Over the next few days we will be bringing further supplies to those who have lost everything, including nappies, and dignity kits for women and girls. We are specifically concerned about women and children affected, and who so often suffer disproportionately during humanitarian emergencies."

You can help by donating to the British Red Cross, Action Aid DEC Indonesian Tsunami Appeal and Save the Children.

Featured Image Credit: Indonesian Red Cross

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

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