INDONESIA (January 21, 2021) – Three earthquakes rocked the west Sulawesi region of Indonesia from January 14 to 16, measuring at 5.9, 6.2 and 5.0 magnitudes on the Richter scale.
The districts of Mamuju, Majene, and Poliwali Mandar were impacted the most where reportedly 932 people were wounded and 84 casualties occurred. The earthquakes, which occurred at 2:35 pm, 1:28 am, and 8:32 am local time, caused landslides blocking roads in some areas and cutting off bridges. Additionally, more than 1,100 houses were flattened, including the governor’s home, according to local reports.
“The districts badly affected are inland, so there wasn’t a tsunami warning, but many people were evacuated to the nearest hills as most of them lived near the coastal area,” says Clinton Rappell, country director for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Indonesia.
Rappell says that ADRA is working with other NGOs to help coordinate relief efforts.
“The most urgent need for people is getting them to safe shelter. Most people are traumatized and are afraid to go inside their houses. Ever since the devastation of the Palu earthquake in 2018, the damage done is still fresh in their memory to this day,” Rappell says.
ADRA has provided shelter kits to approximately 2,000 people. Shelter kits include heavy-duty tarps used to create walls and roofs, towelettes, sheets, and bedding items. The team in Indonesia is also collecting data on additional pressing needs of survivors.
“We are also working with Adventist churches in the Mamuju districts, and an Adventist youth organization called Youth Emergency Services, or YES, to provide aid to church members with shelter, food items, hygiene kits and medicine,” says Rappell.
“Our work is just beginning once a natural disaster occurs, and no matter the crisis, we keep going because the need is great,” Rappell says.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it’s located on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. A majority of the world’s earthquakes occur in the region.
Updates on ADRA’s relief efforts following the earthquakes in Indonesia can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ADRA.Indonesia.Foundation/.
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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended. For more information, visit ADRA.org.