A 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia on Friday, September 28. The earthquake triggered a tsunami within 3 minutes. The tsunami warning failed dramatically, as hundreds of people were at a beach festival and were unaware that there was a risk of a tsunami. Waves reached up to 6 metres, leaving the people there vulnerable and with a very small chance of being found.
The Indonesian military sent in troops and military supplies, but they were unable to do an efficient job as they are still waiting for the heavy equipment to arrive. French fire fighters have been searching for people in a collapsed hotel, but rescuers have been unable to find any signs of life. Moreover, rescue dogs have been trying to identify possible areas to find survivors, but once again have not had any success.
The authorities need to distribute supplies quickly, especially to remote areas as they have been left unattended and are in desperate need of help. Also, authorities set a tentative deadline of Friday October 5 to find survivors trapped under rubble. A mass burial is being organised to prevent the spread of epidemic diseases.
Furthermore, it is estimated that 70,000 people have been left homeless, the victims taking shelter in evacuation camps. The disaster has already claimed 1,550 lives and 800 are seriously injured. Residents are trying to find solid ground after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake made the ground run like liquid, a phenomenon called ‘ground liquefaction’.
The few survivors are desperate for the essentials, so they have resorted to looting supermarkets and petrol stations. Not even clean water can be distributed as it has been contaminated. Communication is near impossible as there is no electricity.
The Indonesian president, Juko Widdo visited the affected areas to try to give hope to the survivors. World Vision manager Radika Pinto, reporting from affected area, says ‘the smell of death is still strong in the air’.
Claudia M, Year 12