Friday, September 28, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Central Sulawesi, Indonesia and triggered a devastating tsunami that swept through Palu City, also affecting Donggala.
More than 2,000 fatalities have been confirmed, with hundreds more missing. Around 74,000 people are being housed in more than 140 evacuation sites. Some 65,700 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, leaving some 330,000 people without adequate shelter. On top of everything, a volcano on Sulawesi erupted Wednesday, October 3.
This disaster has created a state of crisis. Affected persons find themselves in a desperate situation, with many unmet vital humanitarian needs such as access to sufficient food, safe shelter and basic non-food items, basic health services and facilities, safe drinking water, and sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
Hit hardest are the elderly, children, people with disabilities, and women, especially pregnant or nursing. There is a pressing need to provide immediate assistance to minimize loss of life and to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are covered first.
The Government of Indonesia has welcomed specific offers of international assistance that are in line with identified humanitarian needs on the ground.
Sources: ACT Alliance, ReliefWeb, Church World Service
The UCC's Response
UCC Disaster Ministries has sent an initial $3,000 solidarity grant to Global Ministries partner PGI (National Communion of Churches) in Indonesia, which is mobilizing volunteers along with critically needed food and non-food aid including medicine, tarps, clothing and other daily needs (toiletries, solar lights and water filters).
The ministry also just released $20,000 to Church World Service (CWS), which currently is supplying clean water daily to 2,500 people in four villages and is working with partners and the District Disaster Management Agency in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, to increase the clean water supply to reach more affected people.
Access to Palu by air and road remains limited and difficult, but CWS already has trucked in 100 tarps, 400 blankets and 200 mattresses and delivered them to 100 households in Sidera. A second truck carrying 300 hygiene kits (80-liter buckets with soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo etc.) departed Makassar on Monday.
UCC Disaster Ministries also is in touch with the ecumenical ACT Alliance, ACT Indonesia Forum and other disaster response agencies to support recovery efforts as assessments are currently underway.
October 10, 2018: Ecumenical Response Underway in Indonesia
October 4, 2018, UCC News: New Hampshire Church Members Await Word of Family, Friends in Indonesia After Earthquake
Letter from Global Ministries to partner following earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia:
Indonesia Earthquake update from National Communion of Churches (PGI) in Indonesia: https://www.globalministries.org/indonesia_earthquake_update_from_national_communion_of_churches_pgi_in_indonesia
Pictured: Destruction in Aceh, Indonesia, from the 2004 tsunami. U.S. Navy photo.