Indonesia Tsunami: Asdar’s Story

When the magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit Indonesia September 28, Asdar was unprepared. He had just returned from work for lunch at his home in Petobo, a small northern village, when the first tremors struck.

“We were eating when the earthquake hit,” he recalled. “We had no preparation for the disaster.”

Throughout his village, there was a horrible groan of shifting, grinding earth, and then Asdar’s house began to crumble and sink into the ground. In the chaos, he was separated from his wife and daughter and flung by the shock waves onto the roof of his home.

There, Asdar watched his entire village disappear into the churning soil. The process known as liquification, in which the earth devours everything in a quicksand sludge, was reducing Petobo to a mass grave.

When the tremors subsided, Asdar was one of the few people remaining. Many of the 744 homes in Petobo were gone. He climbed down from the roof and discovered his wife and daughter among the ruins, both still alive but bruised and terrified.

“We gathered again on the rubble after the earthquake subsided,” he said. “It was traumatic. Only now has my daughter wanted to eat and to talk again.”

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, ADRA was able to act immediately for those like Asdar, his daughter, and the rest of their family who were affected by the back to back disasters.

ADRA set a goal to raise $200,000 for shelter kits and other urgently needed emergency resources, but you exceeded that goal. At last count, the total raised for Indonesia was close to $300,000 and still growing!

ADRA’s local team in Indonesia has provided shelter kits, which include tarps and tools, to almost 10,000 households whose homes were damaged or destroyed!

In addition, your support has provided resources for clean water and hygiene to several thousand more in their homes or in camps for displaced and affected families. You have also helped us provide emergency food to close to 4,000 families and are helping to support hundreds in their efforts to rebuild their livelihoods.

In major disasters like this, ADRA’s work doesn’t stop when the initial emergency response phase ends. Rebuilding lives and communities after a devastating natural disaster can take years, and our team in Indonesia is so grateful that your generosity will help strengthen the work they’re doing today, as well as their plans well into the future.

Asdar is also looking towards the future. Though his village of Petobo is gone, and likely to be deemed by the government of Indonesia a mass grave and no longer inhabitable, he is hopeful.

“Our hope is to have infrastructure and a proper place to live,” he said. “Here at the evacuation tent we are only surviving.”

Thanks to you, ADRA will be able to help with Asdar’s hopes as they plan to continue much-needed food assistance and projects that support water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as transitional shelter.

Thank you for acting quickly when disaster struck in Indonesia. Want to help others in crisis? Give today!

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