Dear Plan Friends, grief has hit Indonesia again.
A set of earthquakes has been occurring in the West Sulawesi province since Thursday (14/01). One of the largest earthquakes, with a 6.2 magnitude, struck on Friday (15/01), demolishing buildings and local facilities. Tremors are still being felt today, Monday (18/01), with effects reported in Majene, Mamuju, Mamasa, and Polewali Mandar.
According to The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNBP), by Thursday (21/01), about 20,488 lives are predicted to be affected by this earthquake. At the beginning, more than 27,000 were predicted to forced to evacuate from their homes. But, according to the newest reports, there are currently 9,390 people leaving their homes for shelters, while 91 people lost their lives and 1,172 people have been injured. Several facilities have also been impacted, although there are some improvements; electricity and mobile signals are gradually accessible and about five roads that were demolished are now available for access.
In response to this, the Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) Emergency Response Team has been coordinating closely with local government and partners. We are currently conducting the Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) in the West Sulawesi province, with the goal to measure the appropriate aid needed by the survivors, especially for children and their families.
As an organization that strives for the fulfillment of child rights and equality for girls, Plan Indonesia prioritizes the needs and protection of children and their families in every emergency response. In a situation that forces many to evacuate, children, women, and people with disabilities are susceptible to many threats, more so when proper sanitation, health care, and decent shelters are scarce. The threat to their wellbeing also worsened, especially as there are concerns about the availability of aid and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To this effect, Plan Indonesia is trying to work as swiftly as possible with government agencies and partners to determine the most-needed aid of the evacuees over the next couple of days. A swift and strong collaboration with local residents and government is needed to ensure that the children and their families will be able to evacuate safely, with access to decent shelters and proper COVID-19 health protocols.
Aside from that, Plan Indonesia also invites you to help and pray for the survivors in West Sulawesi. Let us pray this disaster will soon pass, and may families be reunited quickly and safely.