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Red Cross needs $22.37m for quake-hit Indonesia

IANS  |  Palu (Indonesia) 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Monday increased its global fund appeal to 22 million Swiss francs ($22.37 million) to help 160,000 displaced people in Indonesia for 20 months.

The IFRC appeal came after a series of earthquakes and a tsunami struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island on Friday and killed 844 people and displaced thousands, according to initial data.

"The situation in the affected areas is nightmarish. The city of Palu has been devastated and the first reports out of Donggala indicate that it has also been hit extremely hard by the double disaster," Jan Gelfand, Head of IFRC Country Cluster Support office in Jakarta, was cited as saying by Efe news.

Palu, the worst affected city on Sulawesi island, has a population of around 350,000, while the neighbouring district of Donggala has some 277,000.

"Red Cross and other teams are working round the clock but the biggest challenge at the moment is getting access to all communities and then bringing large quantities of vital relief supplies into the disaster zone. Transport links, power and communications are still down," Gelfand said.

More than 175 volunteers and staff from the Indonesian Red Cross were engaged in search and rescue operations in the affected areas.

The catastrophe began with a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that killed one person. It was followed by another quake of 7.5 magnitude and then tsunami.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that an estimated 2.4 million people were affected by the disaster, over 600 people were hospitalized and 48,000 were displaced.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Ring of Fire of the Pacific, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that experiences about 7,000, mostly moderate, earthquakes every year.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 01 2018. 19:52 IST