Quake, tsunami victims faced with daily survival challenges

MOHD JAMILUL ANBIA MD DENIN

PALU, Sulawesi: Temporary shelters at the mercy of the elements, which are easily torn to shreds as well as battles against swarms of fly’s and mosquitos on a daily basis are among the challenges faced by the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi.

The victims had faced this daily challenge in the past two weeks since the earthquake, tsunami and mud flows struck them in Palu, Donggala and Sigi, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Mercy Malaysia's team leader in Palu, Norazam Abu Samah said the suffering and the condition faced by the disaster victims was heartbreaking.

He said what made him more distressed was the plight faced by children in the disaster zone who had to take shelter in temporary camps built from scratch, from pieces of plastic, cloths and other materials which they could lay their hands on.

“Realising the problem they faced, Mercy Malaysia through the contributions of Malaysians has distributed as many tents as possible which is stronger and safer for them to dwell in.

“Today we handed over 100 tents to 100 families who were victims of the disaster at Kampung Pombewe, Sigi, near here.


Pic by NSTP


Pic by NSTP


Temporary shelters at the mercy of the elements, which are easily torn to shreds as well as battles against swarms of fly’s and mosquitos on a daily basis are among the challenges faced by the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi. Pic by NSTP

“Each tent is capable of accommodating up to eight adults. Based on feedback, the victims are desperately in need of tents apart from food,” he told reporters when contacted today.

Norazam said the residents of Kampung Pombewe which he had visited are among the victims of mud flows which had completely destroyed their homes, a similar predicament faced by victims in Lolu, Jono Oge and Petobo, here.

“Apart from tents, we also contributed other needs such as mats, residential kits as well as sleeping requirements to ensure they are comfortable in the tents.

“Mercy will continue with such contributions for the victims of the disaster in Palu. They (the victims) will also get the necessary aid from the 13 volunteers and nine doctors who continue with their efforts here,” he said.

Norazam also said that Mercy Malaysia would also intensify the use of its mobile clinic which was deployed following disaster, to ensure more victims receive the necessary health checks and medical treatment.

On Wednesday, Mercy Malaysia distributed cleaning kits to 113 families in Desa Loli Saluran, Kecamatan Banawa, Donggala.

The kit comprises bath soap, shampoo, brush and toothpaste, hair brush, nail, washing soap, bucket, razors, pads, underwears and bath towels. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd