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11/10/2021 | Article

Gardens of health: Preparing nutritious meals for new and expectant mothers in Zimbabwe

Bending over her traditional clay cookstove, 38-year-old Lucky Mazangesure stirs the simmering ingredients in a small saucepan: fried-green bananas in stew of tomatoes and onions. As the fire crackles, the scent of woodsmoke mixes with the savory-sweet aroma of the saucy, steaming treat. “Trust me,” she says, “after eating this banana dish you won’t be able to stop.” She can’t resist a quick taste – just to make sure it’s coming out the way it should. “I really love cooking,” she says. “I like tasting the food while cooking. It makes me happy and it keeps my stomach full.” Then she checks on some simmering beans and starts preparing another local delicacy: pumpkin porridge with roasted peanuts, which will be complimented by cooked spinach and broccoli. This diverse meal does a lot more than keep her full, she adds. It gives her body the vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohyrdates she needs to keep herself and her infant, nursing child healthy. Like many new mothers here in Chibuwe, in southeastern Zimbabwe, Lucky is able to prepare these well-balanced meals thanks to a garden at the Chibuwe Health Clinic, which is tended largely by pregnant woman and new mothers who visit the clinic for pre-natal and post-partum care. The garden got started several years ago as part of a larger initiative by the British Red Cross and the Zimbabwe Red Cross to set up gardens for expecting and new mothers at hospitals and local health clinics, where health workers were witnessing worsening nutrition levels among women and young children. In a region hard hit by drought, windstorms, cyclones and flash floods, many legumes, fruits and root crops that are rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals are hard to get. Infant malnutrition here has been on the rise in recent years, with some estimates suggesting that roughly one-third of children under 5 are malnourished. Covid-19 has only aggravated the situation by disrupting regional and local food distribution systems. “It’s hard for expecting mothers in this community to get a decent meal,” says Robert Magweva, a nurse at the Chibuwe Health Clinic, adding that too often, people must rely only on sadza [sorghum], a carbohydrate, and a limited range of leafy vegetables. “It’s a major challenge to have a well-balanced diet here. So the vegetables that are grown in the clinic garden help them to get a well-balanced meal.” As a mark of the programme’s success, most of these gardens are now sustained entirely by the clinics, hospitals and the communities around them, with support of local agriculture experts and local Zimbabwe Red Cross volunteers. Better farming for a changing climate Still, growing one’s own food in this environment is not easy. The climate has generally gotten hotter and drier, with dry spells punctuated by intense storms and winds, and unpredictable rains. Scorching heat evaporates water quickly and can easily whither young seedlings. “At this clinic garden, we were taught smart agriculture techniques as a way of combating the effects that climate change was having on our harvest,” says Beauty Manyazda, another new mother who works regularly at the Chibuwe Clinic garden. “We learnt techniques such as conservation farming and mulching.” Conservation farming is an approach that aims to improve soil moisture and health by minimising the intensive tilling and plowing associated with large-scale crop production. Mulching is one very common conservation technique in which straw, leaves or other organic matter is laid down on the soil between the crops. This keeps moisture from evaporating, while discouraging weeds and providing nutrients to the soil as the mulch decays. Such techniques are increasingly critical as climate change makes farming more difficult. “Our rainfall patterns have changed over the years,” explains Lucky. “We used to get rain in October, when we would sow the seeds for our crops. Now, we get rains in January. So the seeds we put in the ground get damaged waiting for the rainfall.” Meanwhile, storms, droughts and heatwaves have become more and more intense, says Lucky. “Temperatures have continued to rise and this has resulted in regular, violent winds,” she notes. “These winds have destroyed our homes. We also get floods which also contribute to the destruction.” Amid these challenges, the garden provides also provides other nourishing ingredients: the joy and satisfaction of being able to work and provide sustenance while also being among plants, close the soil with other women at her side. “I love gardening,” says Lucky, her baby tied to her back, fast asleep as she picks a handful of chard. “The green nature of the garden warms my heart. With the garden, I know my family will always have a home-grown, nutritious meal.” -- This story was produced and originally published by the Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine. To learn about the Magazine, and to read more stories like this, click here.

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13/01/2023 | Press release

Tonga: One year since earthquake and tsunami, homes being rebuilt

Nukualofa/Suva, 13 January 2023 – One year since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that cut off Tonga from the rest of the world, homes are being rebuilt for over 200 displaced families. The complex process of rebuilding shattered communities, devastated from the triple disasters of the Volcano, its resultant Tsunami and then a first wave of the COVID Pandemic, has also included cleaning water supplies polluted with ash, re-establishing lost livelihoods and providing cash assistance for people with disabilities and those displaced from their damaged homes. Tonga Red Cross Society has been working with a variety of partners – including the Tongan government to support displaced households, some of whom – one year later are still seeking shelter with families, friends and in church halls. Secretary-General of Tonga Red Cross Society, Sione Taumoefolau, said: "The disaster continues to make its presence felt in the lives of all of us in Tonga, but especially those on the outer islands, where communities were flattened, and fragile livelihoods destroyed. "We must continue to strengthen our efforts to help the most vulnerable among us, many of whom are still without homes. "Working alongside our Red Cross partners, we are determined to stand with the most affected communities as they undertake the long process of rebuilding their lives." Tonga Red Cross has been distributing cash voucher assistance to most affected households both in Tongatapu, and outer island groups of Ha’apai and ‘Eua. Teams have also been working with a variety of stakeholder groups to assist people with disabilities, including families and students of ‘Ofa Tui moe Amanaki disability school. In an innovative pilot project of Tonga Red Cross working alongside the government and the Nomuka community, a cash for work project saw equipment and financial support provided to assist community members in cleaning debris from their fresh-water lake. With access to clean and safe drinking water a priority, Red Cross has also undertaken a number of water projects, including the installation of water filters in affected communities. Tonga Red Cross has also been providing much needed psychological first aid training and as a result - it is only just now, one year on, that people are beginning to talk more freely about the events of that day and revealing some of the trauma they felt and how they are coping. Head of the IFRC Pacific Office, Katie Greenwood, said: “A disaster of this scale requires a coordinated effort between local, national and international actors. Our Red Cross partners have been an important part of this, coordinating closely with response and recovery efforts at the community level. “Given the magnitude of this disaster, it will continue to take some time to rebuild and get things back to normal. IFRC will be right there with Tonga Red Cross every step of the way.” For more information or to arrange a media interview, contact: In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected]

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15/04/2022 | Press release

Tonga: Red Cross tackles triple disaster - COVID-19, volcanic fallout, tsunami

Kuala Lumpur/Suva 15 April 2022 – Three months on from the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami, the Pacific island nation of Tonga is battling another disaster: its first serious outbreak of Covid-19 that has forced the Government to extend a State of Emergency and impose a series of lockdowns. The strict Covid measures have severely impacted the work of government and relief agencies and their ability to distribute relief. Tonga Red Cross has been forced to pare back operations for several weeks, relying on skeleton staff and a core group of volunteers to do essential “contactless” distributions. First detected in February, the virus reached the outer islands last month, jumping quarantine lines designed to contain it to the main island of Tongatapu. As a result, the lockdown was extended to the Ha’apai group – another blow to hard-hit island communities whose homes and livelihoods were ruined by the eruption and tsunami. After a three-week delay, a group of 25 Tonga Red Cross staff and volunteers was finally given permission by the Ministry of Health to travel by boat to islands in the Ha’apais to deliver food items, bottled water, family kits and washing kits. Observing strict “contactless” protocols, the relief teams left supplies on beaches for collection after departure. Sione Taumoefolau, Secretary-General of Tonga Red Cross said: “The people of Tonga are tough, but they have faced a once-in-a-lifetime triple disaster, making life very difficult and the relief and recovery operations even harder. “Following the devastation caused by the volcanic eruptions, being smothered by blankets of toxic ash and hit by a huge tsunami, and then Covid-19, it’s critical to balance the safety of our staff, the health of our communities, and the urgent need to deliver relief supplies. “Red Cross volunteers on the islands are a crucial lifeline in this operation, keeping us informed of the humanitarian needs on the ground and allowing us to shuttle in much-needed supplies. “More rain and bad weather during the cyclone season has also impacted our response to those affected.” The January disaster, combined with lockdown measures restricting business activity, has severely impacted Tonga’s economy. The World Bank puts the bill for overall damage at $US90.4 million – equivalent to 18.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Katie Greenwood, Pacific Head of Delegation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said: “Disasters of this scale can overwhelm the resources of any nation. It has required a well-coordinated regional response, with Pacific neighbours, the international community and a generous Tongan diaspora, to support vital local relief efforts. “This effort will extend well beyond the coming weeks and months, helping tsunami-devastated communities rebuild with safer homes and water supplies to be better prepared for future climate disasters.” For more information, contact: In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]

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25/01/2022 | Press release

Tonga: Aid ramped up after eruption and tsunami

Kuala Lumpur/Suva, 26 January 2022 – Local relief teams are urgently providing supplies to communities across Tonga, hit hard by a volcanic eruption and tsunami that destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands without safe drinking water. Relief items are being unloaded after the airport was cleared of ash, making it safe for planes to land. Tonga Red Cross staff and volunteers have been assisting people from the moment the tsunami alert was triggered, and are ramping up the delivery of drinking water, temporary shelters and other critical relief supplies across the country’s many islands. Sione Taumoefolau, Secretary General of Tonga Red Cross, said: “This disaster has shaken the people of Tonga like nothing we have seen in our lifetime. The tsunami has wiped out homes and villages, but we are already rebuilding amid the ashes. “After being cut off from the world, we are very grateful for the relief supplies being delivered to our shores. Our Red Cross teams are using boat and trucks to take these vital items that last mile to communities in need of shelter, water and other basic necessities. “There is an urgent need for people to have access to safe water sources in the days and weeks to come. Ash has settled in water tanks- requiring time to settle and careful treatment before use. It has also smothered much of the country, including houses and crops. “It is critical to clean this ash away, so it doesn’t run into water supplies when the next rain comes. “Shelter is a top priority for families whose homes have been completely wiped out because of the tsunami. People have lost everything. We need to provide immediate support – then turn our attention to the longer term. It will be a tough time, but we will recover.” To support the relief efforts of our locally led response, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal of 2.5 million Swiss Francs to provide urgent assistance including safe water, tarpaulins, shelter materials including tool kits to rebuild, household items such as kitchen cooking sets and hygiene kits. Katie Greenwood, IFRC’s Pacific Head of Delegation, said: “While the damage to some of the islands is truly devastating, it is heartening to see Red Cross and governments from around the world providing assistance to the hard-hit people of Tonga, enabling much-needed services and relief items. “A well-coordinated humanitarian response that brings together governments and international organisations to support local agencies like Tonga Red Cross is crucial in the Pacific. These partnerships are critical for effective delivery of immediate relief and longer-term support.” For more information, contact: In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Joe Cropp, +61 491 743 089, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]

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24/01/2022 | Emergency

Tonga: Volcano and tsunami

On 15 January, a violent eruption occurred at the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’api volcano in Tonga. The volcanocaused a Pacific-wide tsunami, swamping coastlines as far away as Peru, and released a cloud of ash billowing more than 20km high. Many houses in Tonga were completely or partially destroyed, and ashfall and saltwater intrusion threaten people's health, agriculture and the local ecosystem. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Tonga Red Cross Society to meet the immediate, early and long-term needs of the most vulnerable people affected.

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16/01/2022 | Press release

Tonga: Volcanic eruption and tsunami cuts off country from the world

Kuala Lumpur/Suva, 16 January 2022 - The small Pacific Island country of Tonga has been cut off from the rest of the world after an enormous volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami hit the country on Saturday. All communication lines in the country have been disrupted with no timeframe given on restoration. Responding to one of the worst volcanic eruptions the Pacific has experienced in decades, Red Cross is mobilising its regional network to provide relief. Katie Greenwood, IFRC’s Pacific Head of Delegation, said: “From what little updates we have, the scale of the devastation could be immense- especially for outer lying Islands. We are trying hard to establish contact with our colleagues at Tonga Red Cross and establish the scale and specific nature of the support they need. “Trained Tonga Red Cross teams will be on the ground supporting evacuations in coordination with public authorities, providing first aid if needed, and distributing prepositioned relief supplies. “Red Cross currently has enough relief supplies in the country to support 1200 households with essential items such as tarpaulins, blankets, kitchen sets, shelter tool kits and hygiene kits.” There are fears that communities may not have access to safe and clean drinking water as a result of saltwater inundation caused by the tsunami waves and ashfall from the volcanic eruption. Shelter is also a concern, particularly for those communities near the coast line. “Local Red Cross teams are well placed to respond quickly to emergencies like this. We are determined to provide the extra resources and support they may need in the face of such a devastating disaster. “With communication channels disrupted one of the priorities for Tonga Red Cross will be to work with our Movement partner, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to restore family links which will help people from all over the world try and find out if their family and friends in Tonga are safe and well.” Update: On 21 January 2022 the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal for the Tonga volcano and tsunami. Find out more here. For more information, contact: In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Joe Cropp, +61 491 743 089, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]

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24/08/2021 | Emergency type


A tsunami is a sea wavetriggered bya large-scale displacement of the sea floor. They are most commonly caused by earthquakes but can also be causedby major underwater (or 'submarine') landslides or volcanic eruptions. They can strike any coast at any time.Tsunamis can move as fast as a jet plane across the open ocean and can hit land with waves higher than 20 metres. Water canwash inland for several kilometres in flat lying areasand move up streams and rivers, destroying everything in its path. Waves may continue to strike the shoreline for many hoursand dangerous currents can continue for several days.Although a tsunami can't be prevented, its impact can be reduced when communities understand the risks, receive timely warnings and know how to respond.

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11/03/2021 | Article

Ten years since the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

A message of appreciation to our partners and supporters for their global spirit of togetherness March 11 is a special day for Japan. It is a day to reflect on the path we have taken, a day to think about where we are going, and a day to thank the world for its solidarity and support. It is also a day when the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement renews its commitment to stand together against the humanitarian crises that still threaten the world. On this same day in 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, killing 18,428 people and displacing 470,000 others. The tsunami also caused serious damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in a reactor core meltdown. This was a complex triple disaster never experienced before. The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) was on the ground when the disaster occurred and began immediate relief operations. Red Cross hospitals in the affected areas were at the front line in saving lives. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) sent its representative and communication delegates to Japan to support the JRCS amid the chaos. During the prolonged evacuation of affected communities, the goodwill and solidarity from the people around the world provided hope and relief to those impacted by this triple disaster. Foreign aid provided household appliances in the temporary shelters. Children received psychosocial support in "summer camps" located in safe places away from the disaster zone where they could enjoy being outdoors with the full support of carers. In the first six months after the disaster, 894 JRCS medical teams supported hospitals and evacuation centres, treating more than 75,000 people. The JRCS distributed relief items, provided psychosocial support, restored family links, and organized blood donation drives. The world was an "eyewitness" to the disaster as livestream videos of the tsunami and the nuclear accident were broadcast internationally. Countries and their people expressed their solidarity and support for the affected communities. Out of this solidarity, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in more than 100 countries and territories, as well as some governments, contributed a total of about 100 billion yen (about US$ 1.24 billion) to the relief and recovery activities of the JRCS. The JRCS used this experience to blend international and domestic support to help those most in need. This was a great learning experience for the JRCS to build its new capacity. Three months after the disaster, representatives of the JRCS, the IFRC and several sister National Societies came together to develop a recovery plan. This included providing 133,000 households with electrical household appliances, social services to support the elderly and disabled, temporary housing construction, support for children including schools and psychosocial support, rebuilding local health facilities, strengthening disaster management capacity and activities in response to the nuclear disaster. A total of 60 projects in 10 sectors have been completed, and the details of those projects can be found in theFinal Report. While many areas continue to recover from this complex disaster, some 41,000 people are still displaced, including more than 22,000 people who are unable to return to their homes due to the residual radiation. It will not be easy to restore communities to their pre-disaster state; there is still a long way to go. Japan is a country prone to many natural disasters which has brought a lot of investment in disaster prevention. However, the massive scale of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear accident taught us that preventing loss of life and mitigating against disasters is not only about investing in the hardware, but also about having a mindset that is always ready for new crises and agile enough to act before they happen. Nuclear disasters may be infrequent but when they do occur, can have devastating and long-term consequences for people and the environment. As we move forward, we have reflected we have learned from this unprecedented tragedy and how we can prepare for future disasters. Recalling the Chernobyl accident 35 years ago, we must ensure the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident strengthen our disaster mitigation and prevention measures in the event of another nuclear accident. As a first step, the JRCS, the IFRC, and several sister National Societies published the "Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery" in 2015. The global spirit of solidarity and unity bestowed on the people of Japan saved and rebuilt lives and supported the recovery from this devastating disaster. For the past decade, JRCS has repeatedly conveyed its gratitude and thanks to the world. On this 10th anniversary memorial of this terrible disaster, we say thank you to the world again. Today we are in the midst of new crises. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create much suffering around the world and the impact of climate change affects all of us. These crises are global challenges that can only be solved if we change our behaviour as individuals and work in a spirit of togetherness. Our global solidarity will be the driving force to overcome the world's crises, now and in the future. Thank you to our supporters around the world. Yoshiharu Otsuka, President, Japanese Red Cross Society Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, IFRC For more information, visitthis special site for Great East Japan Earthquake. JRCS/IFRC Joint Message - Ten years since the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.pdf

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23/09/2019 | Press release

Indonesia: 57,000 people homeless one year after Sulawesi earthquakes, tsunami and liquefaction

Indonesia: 57,000 people homeless one year after Sulawesi earthquakes, tsunami and liquefaction Palu /Kuala Lumpur, 23 September 2019 – One year after earthquakes, a tsunami and liquefaction struck Sulawesi in Indonesia on 28 September 2018, an estimated 57,000 people remain homeless, the Indonesian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said today. The triple disaster killed more than 4,300 people and damaged or destroyed more than 103,000 houses. One year on, 14,300 households (57,000 people)[1], who lost their homes and farms to liquefaction are still living in temporary accommodation, unsure where and when they can rebuild. Indonesian Red Cross or Palang Merah Indonesia Head of Disaster Management Arifin M. Hadi said: “In the past year, Indonesian Red Cross staff and volunteers have brought emergency items like food, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and blankets to 108,000 people, and drinking water to 280,000 people. We will now shift our focus on creating a more resilient community, training people to build better, stronger homes, providing permanent water sources, rebuilding health centres and helping people restore their incomes by providing livestock or boats. IFRC Indonesia Head of Country Office, Jan Gelfand said: “We are hoping the government will redouble their efforts to identify settlement areas and help thousands of families still living in camps and temporary shelters build permanent homes with infrastructure that is more resilient to future disasters. Families still need our help to move on after this disaster.” The Indonesian Red Cross, with the support of IFRC and partners, will focus on the long-term recovery needs of nearly 90,000 people in 24 of the worst-hit communities in Sulawesi through to 2021. Assistance includes awareness campaigns on health and hygiene, training to build safer houses, disaster preparedness and help to restart businesses or find new jobs. [1] Source: Unpublished report from the Global Shelter Cluster, Indonesia https://www.sheltercluster.org/hub/sulawesi-tsunamieq. Please contact [email protected] for a copy of the file.

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25/03/2019 | Press release

Indonesia: Six months after Sulawesi triple disaster, survivors face slow and complex recovery

Palu/Kuala Lumpur, 25 March 2019 – Six months after Sulawesi was hit by a powerful and shallow earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction, survivors face a painfully slow and complex recovery. On 28 September 2018, a series of strong earthquakes struck Central Sulawesi, the worst a shallow, magnitude 7.4. The earthquake triggered tsunami waves of up to three metres high. The tsunami in turn caused landslides and liquefaction that swallowed entire villages whole. In all, the triple disaster killed 4,340 people.[1] Within minutes, trained staff and volunteers from the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) were in action, leading search and rescue efforts and providing first aid and other life-saving help. In the six months since, a massive emergency response operation by the Red Cross, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has reached 119,400 people, with assistance including healthcare for 13,300 people, 16 million litres of safe drinking water distributed to 69,400 people, emergency shelter tools distributed to 100,000 people, psychosocial support given to 13,000 people and 2,300 people helped to trace family members. Indonesian Red Cross Head of Disaster Management Arifin M. Hadi said: “This disaster was violent and unexpected and completely devastated communities right across Sulawesi. The response was driven by local organizations and expertise. Indonesian Red Cross volunteers from the affected areas were the first to respond, and they were backed up by the mobilization of 1,426 staff and volunteers from all over Indonesia. “Many of our own people were affected by the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction but went into action to help others who were even worse off,” said Arifin M. Hadi. With the emergency phase now over, the long, complex recovery and rebuilding process has only just begun. As of 12 February, 173,000 people were still homeless,[2] many uncertain where they will be able to rebuild because their land has been swallowed by liquefaction or is at risk of future tsunamis. Aftershocks continue to strike fear even for people whose homes are undamaged. The triple disaster also robbed families of their income, destroying fishing boats and agricultural irrigation, damaging businesses that employed people. Despite the devastation, survivors speak of their determination to pick up the pieces of their lives. Suriyati, who goes by one name, and used to live in coastal town Sirenja, said: "When the disaster first happened, I was terrified, and left everything to God. But now survival mode has kicked in, and we're doing whatever we can to build our lives again. Some of my neighbours have begun small businesses to help make ends meet, as the earthquake and tsunami destroyed our farms." IFRC Indonesia Head of Country Jan Gelfand said: “It has only been six months since the catastrophe and recovery is understandably slow. We’ve seen from major disasters around the world that cities and communities take years to build but only seconds to destroy. How can you rebuild a coastline, city or community when large parts of it are simply swallowed by the earth? We will continue to stand by people over the next years as they recover and rebuild.” In December 2018, IFRC revised its emergency appeal upwards to 38.9 million Swiss francs (38.6 million US dollars / 34 million euros) to support the Indonesian Red Cross to reach 167,000 people affected by disasters in Lombok, Sulawesi and the Sunda Straits. [1] https://bnpb.go.id/infografis-gempabumi-m74-tsunami-sulawesi-tengah [2] https://bnpb.go.id/infografis-gempabumi-m74-tsunami-sulawesi-tengah

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10/10/2018 | Press release

Indonesia: Demand for health services skyrockets across shattered Sulawesi

Palu/Geneva, 10 October 2018 – Demand for Red Cross health services in the shattered communities of Palu, Donggala and Sigi is skyrocketing as mobile health clinics reach remote areas that were affected by the 28 September earthquakes and tsunami. More than 2,620 survivors have now been treated for injuries and sickness in the aftermath of the double disaster, with five Indonesian Red Cross mobile health clinics bringing health services to previously inaccessible communities. Iris van Deinse, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) communications delegate in Palu, is with an Indonesian Red Cross mobile health clinic bringing treatment and support to remote communities in the disaster zone. She said: “We are reaching more and more people every day and are expanding the mobile clinic services to meet the growing demand. More than 2,620 people have received treatment so far, not counting the many survivors who received first aid in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunami. “While we’re focusing on critical care and helping people who were injured in the double disaster, we know that not all wounds are visible. The survivors will also need psychosocial support if they are to recover from the horrors they have endured, and we will be introducing these services in the coming days.” As well as expanding its health services in the affected area, the Indonesian Red Cross operation is also distributing clean water, food, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and shelter materials to people who have lost their homes. The disaster zone is still being affected by aftershocks, with a 5.2 magnitude event sending survivors screaming into the streets of Palu on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of people are still sleeping outside, as their homes are too badly damaged to live in. Government agencies report that at least 2,100 people have been killed and more than 10,600 have been injured. The double disaster has also damaged or destroyed around 67,310 homes. IFRC is appealing for 22 million Swiss francs to support 160,000 people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, and the series of earthquakes on the island of Lombok.

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05/10/2018 | Press release

Indonesia: Red Cross aid reaches shattered communities in Palu and Donggala

Palu/Geneva, 5 October 2018 – One week after earthquakes and a powerful tsunami devastated the island of Sulawesi, more and more relief is arriving in shattered communities after Red Cross teams reached previously inaccessible areas of Palu, Donggala and Sigi. The main focus of the Indonesian Red Cross operation is now on the distribution of clean water and food, providing medical support, and evacuating survivors from the disaster zone. Iris van Deinse, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) communications delegate in Palu, is with the teams bringing food, clean water and medical support to the worst affected areas. She said: “More and more aid is arriving every day – a plane has just arrived with generators and tarpaulins from the government of New Zealand – and 70 tons of Red Cross relief goods are on their way to Palu. “Many roads are still impassible, and access is still a major challenge, but we are bringing goods in by boat and volunteers are carrying aid to isolated communities on foot. “The shock and trauma here is palpable, and the area is still affected by aftershocks a week after the disaster. Red Cross teams are doing everything they can to comfort survivors and evacuate them to safer areas of the island.” Red Cross volunteers have reached the settlement of Banawa, in Donggala, where every home along the shoreline was wiped out by the tsunami. The team has described Banawa as the worst affected area they have so far seen. The survivors have been evacuated – or have travelled independently - to neighbouring houses in the hills, where they are in need of health care, tents, blankets, baby food, and diapers. Around 50 Indonesian Red Cross volunteers are expected to escort survivors from the Petobo and Balaroa settlements to safety today. Hundreds of blankets, clean water, tarpaulins, mats and 1,400kg of rice will be distributed to survivors in Sigi and Donggala. Three water trucks are being used and a further seven trucks are on their way to the area. One Red Cross search and rescue team is still active and responding to requests from the affected communities. Heavy machinery has arrived to help excavate buried settlements, and Indonesian Red Cross volunteers will also be helping to manage any dead bodies that are found. Government agencies report that at least 1,581 people have been killed, more than 2,500 have been injured, and 113 people are still missing. IFRC is appealing for 22 million Swiss francs to support 160,000 people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, and the series of earthquakes on the island of Lombok.

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