WASHINGTON, Friday, October 5, 2018 – The American Red Cross is contributing $500,000 towards relief efforts being carried out by local and global Red Cross Red Crescent teams after a deadly earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi. These funds are in addition to $500,000 previously committed by the American Red Cross in the aftermath of destructive earthquakes and aftershocks—taking place over the past two months—that rocked the island of Lombok.
One week after the tragedy in Sulawesi, Red Cross teams are focusing on the distribution of clean water and food, providing medical support, and evacuating survivors from the disaster zone. A Red Cross search and rescue team is still active and responding to requests from the affected communities. Heavy machinery has arrived to help excavate buried settlements. More and more relief is arriving in shattered communities after Red Cross teams reached previously inaccessible areas of Palu, Donggala and Sigi.
The American Red Cross’s most recent contribution will fund much-needed aid such as food, emergency shelter, water and sanitation, and health.
While the full extent of the disaster is still emerging, government agencies are reporting more than 1,500 people have been killed with more than 2,500 injured.
Iris van Deinse, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said from Sulawesi, “The shock and trauma here is palpable, and the area is still affected by aftershocks a week after the disaster.”
Teams are doing all they can to overcome major logistical and access challenges. With so many roads still impassible, the Red Cross is bringing 70 tons of aid in by boat. The first ship loaded with vital goods and equipment docked at Makassar on Thursday. The ship carried water trucks, field kitchens, baby kits, mosquito nets, mattresses, hygiene supplies, tents and body bags.
Mobile health posts have been set up in Red Cross branches in affected areas with doctors treating those suffering from open wounds, broken bones and bruises. Because people are sleeping in tents or on the street without access to food and clean drinking water, the doctors are also responding to cases of diarrhea, stomach problems, skin rashes, and flu. Amid ongoing aftershocks, volunteers are also comforting survivors coping with heartbreak and loss in the aftermath of this terrifying double disaster.
In addition to financial contributions, the American Red Cross has thus far deployed five disaster responders to the islands of Sulawesi and Lombok to support local disaster relief efforts. The responders will continue supporting the Indonesian Red Cross (locally known as Palang Merah Indonesia) as the devastation of the crises unfold.
LOOKING FOR A LOVED ONE? If you are looking for a missing relative, contact your local American Red Cross office to speak with a caseworker. For inquiries concerning U.S. citizens missing in Indonesia, please contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.