Indonesia earthquakes and tsunami response: update from the field

Good morning, I’m here in front of the
Indonesian Red Cross headquarters in Palu Sulawesi. It’s just after five
o’clock in the morning and we’re going to be departing shortly for some
villages about four and a half hours south of here. It’s our understanding
that these villages have not yet been reached one month after the earthquake,
because of very bad landslides that blocked the the roads people just
couldn’t get across the the landslides to help. So, we’re going we’re loaded up
with things like blankets, tarps, kits to help people rebuild their houses, and food. We don’t know what we’re going to encounter along the way. We could hit landslides
ourselves, so I’ll be posting updates periodically as we go and as long as I
have connectivity. We’ll talk to you in a bit. So we’re now about two and a half
hours into our drive and we’ve reached an area where it’s just kilometer after
kilometer of landslide. Where rocks and trees and mud have all come cascading
down the hillsides. It’s not just happening once, it’s happening repeatedly
and the rainy season hasn’t even started yet. In behind me now, we have crews which are working to clear one of the recent landslides. We’re told it’s going to take
at least a couple of hours before they’re able to clear the roadway so
that we can get through. So for now we’re stuck right where we are. So five hours after starting out we’ve arrived at our destination. The sun is
beating down, but the distribution is under way. We have five hundred and fifty
seven families from three villages coming here and they’re getting things
like jerrycans, blankets and tarpaulins. They’ll be sharing
shelter kits which will help them rebuild their houses and make them a
little bit safer and stronger. The villagers tell me that the support from
the Red Cross is the first they’ve received since the earthquake struck
Sulawesi. The earthquake hit one month ago today.

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