ISLAMIC Relief and local partner organisations are assisting in the rescue and aid efforts in Donggala and Palu, as the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia continues to rise and could reach thousands.
“Staff members from our local partner organisation PKPU drove for over 17 hours and slept on pavements to arrive in Donggala as quick as they could and were among the first to respond,” an official said.
They are helping to clear the rubble, pull out bodies and transport injured people to nearby medical centres.
“Large areas are still inaccessible, with bodies trapped under the rubble and injured people in desperate need of health care,” the official said.
Thousands of homes have collapsed, along with hospitals, hotels and a shopping centre.
Nanang Dirja, Islamic Relief’s country director for Indonesia, said: “It’s a devastating situation, with dead bodies everywhere, including on the beaches and in the water.
“Rescue work is a race against time as many people are still stuck under the rubble. In one area of Palu city, 500 houses have collapsed and search and rescue has not yet started.
“The land and mudslides have cut off major roads, which has hindered access to people in desperate need. We’re hearing of so many urgent medical cases, such as traumatic head injuries and broken bones and many of them are out of reach.”
Islamic Relief has launched a global emergency appeal and in addition to supporting the rescue efforts, we will deliver food, water and essential household items and repairing water systems.
*REUTERS African News Agency (ANA) A WOMAN cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft after the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Palu, Indonesia.