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Red Cross launches appeal for survivors of Sulawesi quake and tsunami

Relief operations underway in Palu City as extent of humanitarian impact emerges.

Updated 3 October

Australian Red Cross has launched an appeal to help provide urgently needed aid to people and communities affected by a devastating double disaster in Sulawesi, a powerful earthquake followed by a tsunami.

At least 1,200 people have died, nearly 800 have been injured, more than 160,000 people have been displaced and 6,000 homes were destroyed. Red Cross has mobilised to provide life-saving aid in some of the worst affected areas. 

Since the outset of the disaster on Friday 28 September, more than 200 volunteers and staff from Indonesian Red Cross have been involved in the relief operation. In the days to come they will be joined by more teams of Red Cross disaster management experts. Australian Red Cross aid workers are also on standby to join the response if needed.

Peter Walton, Director of International Programs at Australian Red Cross said, "A picture is starting to emerge of extremely high humanitarian need. We are very concerned for those that have lost loved ones and for those whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.”

“It's clear that Red Cross will need to mount a significant relief operation. This work started from the outset of the disaster with Indonesian Red Cross staff and volunteers in Palu City quickly on the ground mobilising ambulance crews, first aid responders, search and rescue teams, medical teams as well as clean water trucks.”

“In addition to this, emergency reliefs items such as tarpaulins, blankets, jerry cans and sleeping mats have been dispatched. Red Cross helicopters are now combing the worst affected areas to determine the extent of the destruction and to direct aid to the most in need.”

Meanwhile in Australia, Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help those impacted by the earthquake and tsunami on Sulawesi. 

Mr Walton said, “As all Australians are aware, it has been a distressing time for the people of Indonesia following a series of destructive earthquakes in Lombok in August. Now the people of Sulawesi have been rocked by the double disaster of an earthquake and tsunami."

“We appeal to all Australians to spare a thought for the people impacted by this terrible tragedy in Sulawesi.  We urge people to dig deep and support our appeal to fund relief supplies for those that have lost everything in this dreadful disaster.

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