Indonesia’s Earthquake Crisis

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.” (Muslim)

It may be a sought-after tourist destination with its beautiful beaches and five-star resorts, but Indonesia continues to suffer from devastating natural disasters which have killed thousands of people and displaced many more – and they need our immediate help.

A country prone to earthquakes, September 2018 saw excessive death and destruction in Indonesia when a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami hit the central island of Sulawesi. Organisations working in the area estimate that over 1.5 million people have been affected by this disaster to date, mainly in the island’s capital city of Palu. World Vision estimates the death of over 2000 people with more than 4000 seriously injured. A journalist from the Independent reports how victims described the experience as the worst imaginable, with shockwaves from the earthquake so strong that the earth turned to liquid and swallowed up rows of houses leaving no trace of their existence.

With nearly 70,000 homes damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced due to the earthquake. As a result, thousands of homeless people have resorted to living in makeshift shelters made from earthquake debris and other basic materials. Clean water and food became scarce and Indonesians had to queue for up for 12 hours in some cases for fuel. Many families lost loved ones and many more people were declared missing, while the Indonesian authorities had no choice but to bury victims in mass graves to deal with the influx of the dead.

The humanitarian response to the earthquake crisis was swift, but the Indonesian authorities as well as aid groups have struggled to cope, especially as many of the displaced people are reluctant to return home due to a fear of another tsunami. Crisis Aid was on the ground immediately, offering assistance to the victims of this tragedy in the form of food parcels and shelter.

Indonesia had barely started to recover from the aftermath of the disaster in Sulawesi, that a second major earthquake hit other parts of the country less than three month later. The partial collapse of the Anak Karakatau Volcano caused an undersea landslide, triggering a significant tsunami which affected five districts in the Indonesian province of Banten and Lampung. According to the UN the tsunami led to extensive damage to the coastal region, killing nearly 500 people and injuring thousands. As this tsunami devastated 2000 home it led to the displacement of a further 22,000 people.

Currently many of the displaced people are living in makeshifts camps, struggling to make ends meet after the destruction of their homes and livelihoods. Fleeing for their lives, thousands of Indonesians ended up in temporary shelter such as mosques and schools, lacking food and other necessities. Reports suggests that even now, months later, thousands of people are still living in dire conditions. Thousands of people still need our help and therefore we need continuous support for our Indonesia Emergency Appeal.

Furthermore, Indonesia relies heavily on tourism and these earthquakes and tsunamis have been massive blows to the tourist infrastructure. As a result of the tsunamis, hotels, shops and restaurants have been violently swept away, devastating the livelihood of thousands of people. As many countries have warned their citizens away from visiting parts of Indonesia, economic recovery will be slow for many parts of the country. Please donate generously so we can help the Indonesians rebuild their livelihoods.

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