children in emergencies

Disaster In Indonesia: Children In Danger

On the 28th September, Indonesia’s Sulawesi island was hit by a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake. This then triggered a catastrophic tsunami, with waves of more than 20 feet high.

On the 28th September, Indonesia’sSulawesi island was hit by a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake. This then triggered a catastrophic tsunami, with waves of more than 20 feet high.

More than 1,400 people have been killed, with thousands more injured and missing. And we fear these numbers will only rise.

The destruction caused by the twin earthquake-tsunami disaster has displaced 70,000 people from their homes. Children and families are now in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

UNICEF is on the ground, working around the clock to save and protect as many children as possible. Children like Nurul.

It took almost 48 hours, but rescuers were finally able to free her from the rubble she once called home. Since the earthquake and tsunami struckIndonesia, the 15-year-old had been trapped, partially submerged in the water, unable to escape.

But sadly, not everyone has been as fortunate.

Mass graves are being dug for the dead, and while rescuers work tirelessly to free people from the rubble, the extent of the damage and a lack of heavy equipment is hampering efforts.

It was the most violent earthquake to hitIndonesia since 2004, with Friday’s seismic activity causing more than 170aftershocks – and a tsunami with waves as high as 20 feet. It has destroyed homes, hotels, shopping malls and religious centres.

Indonesia, rescuers are still working to free earthquake victims at the Balaroa National Park.

The disaster comes just a month after a series of deadly earthquakes that hit the Indonesian island of Lombok –killing more than 500 people. Now with growing impact of Sulawesi’s tsunami earthquake disaster, the humanitarian response in Indonesia is growing more urgent and complex.

The Indonesian Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho explained: “Thousands have been injured and more than 70,000 displaced. Almost 200,000 people need urgent help. Food and water supplies for survivors are running low.”

Survivors are treated at the Central Sulawesi Regional Police Headquarters Hospital

UNICEF is doing everything it can to help children and families in Palu, Donggala and other affected areas of Sulawesi, but to do that we urgently need donor support.

"Many children have lost their loved ones and all things familiar in their lives, and will need help to get back to some sense of normality as quickly as possible,"  UNICEF Indonesia'sAmanda Bissex explains. "In the aftermath of the deadly disaster, we’re working with authorities to reunite unaccompanied and separated children with their families, support infant and young child feeding, provide clean water through mobile water treatment and help children recover."

Right now, UNICEF is drawing on its vast experience and reach to respond to the immediate needs of children. But will continue to help support families long after the disaster response – ensuring children will be able to get back to school, receive emotional and physical support and have sustainable access to food, water and medicine.

Last year alone, UNICEF responded to 337 humanitarian emergencies — from conflicts to natural disasters — in 102 countries.

UNICEF are the global authority on children.No other organisation has our experience, expertise and reach – with 350humanitarian relief warehouses globally. This enables us to be uniquely poised to step up and help children wherever they need us, when they need us most.  

We work with local partners to deliver urgently needed supplies like food, safe drinking water, medicines and hygiene and sanitation kits. While specialist staff offer psychological and emotional support, and help get children back into learning and playing — and just being kids again — as soon as possible.    

Our life-saving work for children is entirely funded by donors.

If you would like to save and protect children with us, please make a one-off donation or join us as a monthly giver today.