Aftermath of Indonesia's natural disaster and tsunami

05 Octobre, 2018, 03:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • An ocean jetty which was completely destroyed by the tsunami

Last week, a magnitude 7.5 quake, followed by a powerful tsunami, killed at least 1400 people and injured roughly 2500.

Aid mobilisation for survivors has gathered pace, but communities in remote areas have been cut off by damaged roads, landslides and crippled communications, leaving people increasingly desperate to fulfil basic needs as aid has only just begun to trickle through.

Orderly queues formed at petrol stations after the arrival of fuel shipments, and the power came back on in parts of the city.

More than 80,000 people have been displaced and thousands of homes and buildings in Palu and surrounding areas have been destroyed.

New Zealand aid to Indonesia has now topped $5 million, with the Government committing $3m to aid agencies, including the Red Cross, and $1.5m for "stand-by funding" for the worldwide community's relief efforts.

State port operator Pelindo IV said Palu's port, which was damaged by the quake and tsunami, was open, though a Reuters reporter in the city said she had not seen any shipping activity. Altogether, the worst affected areas include some 1.4 million people.

Rescue workers are pushing into outlying districts, where residents have been scavenging for coconuts, bananas and cassava.

Villagers rushed a Red Cross helicopter that landed near the town of Donggala, north-west of Palu, to distribute bread and other food, a Reuters photographer said.

National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a briefing the main roads to the south, west and east of Palu had been opened.

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"The scale of the relief effort required following last week's quake and tsunami is becoming increasingly apparent, and there are many people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance", Peters said in a statement earlier this week.

The catastrophe has so far claimed more than 1400 lives.

"My immediate family is safe, thank God, but my cousin was killed", he told Reuters, adding that his family had got food and water in the past few days.

"We will be working with Indonesian authorities and our global partners to provide an air bridge between Balikpapan and Palu and help bring aid supplies to where they are needed most".

The United Nations announced an allocation of $21 million while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was appealing for 22 million Swiss francs ($31.3 million).

At a press briefing, Indonesian Central Bank governor Perry Warjiyo played down the impact on South-East Asia's biggest economy of the disaster in Sulawesi, and of earlier deadly quakes on the tourist island of Lombok.

"This is really a challenging and hard time for Indonesia and for all of us, but we are united and we stand strong", he said.

Straddling the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has always been vulnerable to quakes and tsunamis.

But safety measures implemented after that disaster, including tsunami warning systems, failed on Friday.

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