Earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia

An earthquake and a tsunami hit the Indonesian islands Sept. 28. The city of Palu, Sulawesi, was left in ruins. 

Palu was struck with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Following the earthquake, a tsunami struck in the same location. People’s homes were destroyed, and hundreds were buried under a mudslide.

The last major natural disaster that affected Indonesia was the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Earthquakes are fairly common in Indonesia, however, tsunamis only happen about every five years. Even then, they are not known to be as disastrous and devastating as the recent tsunami in Indonesia.

On Monday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Board for Disaster Management, spoke about the level of destruction.

“799 people have been injured, more than 61,000 have been displaced and 66,000 homes have been destroyed so far,” Nugroho said. 

These statistics associate directly with Palu, but millions of Indonesians are affected by this disaster.

Many bodies are still being discovered under the rubble of the demolished homes and buildings. The number is expected to climb well over 2,000. The majority found have been children. Many of these children were likely located in a church recreation hall located south of Palu prior to the event.

Survivors are in desperate need for basic supplies including food, water and shelter. There are thousands of survivors rummaging through the remainder of the city and coming up empty. Many hope to travel to nearby towns to obtain their goods, but fuel and resources are scarce.

Survivors have been evacuating their towns in order to find safety, however, surrounding towns are being swarmed with Palu people without proper supplies to care for them.

Food looting has proven to be a large issue following the natural disaster. Many families are starving. Citizens have began to blame their government for not providing enough resources.

This is a common scenario in the aftermath of natural disasters all over the world. With any natural disaster comes struggling and grieving survivors. It is not unheard of for citizens to turn against each other or the government when resources suddenly become scarce, and disease and starvation begin to plague communities.

Since the tsunami occurred, social media has launched campaigns to help fund the restoration of Indonesia. Operation USA is an organization that was quick to respond to this natural disaster. They have been updating their website with information on how to help the people of Palu.

Approximately 3,500 officials and volunteers have banded together to help out with Indonesia’s recovery, including 900 police officers and more than 1,000 military personnel.

Families are forced to adjust their lifestyles dramatically. The people of Indonesia need aid in rebuilding, and many Americans and other nations are putting forth their efforts.