Francisca Friti, Executive Director of YAPPIKA-ActionAid in Indonesia, who is part of an emergency response team assessing damage, says:
“…we heard that a whole village in Sigi was swallowed up by the earth. It just disappeared. We hear this is due to “liquefaction” of the ground as the earthquake ripples radiate out. It’s terrifying.
“This is one of the biggest earthquakes our country has suffered. We are all in shock and utterly devastated.”
ActionAid’s Executive Directory, Michelle Higelin, says:
“The full scale of the emergency is still unfolding, but what we do know is that right now, communities are in critical need of support. We are urging Australians to stand behind communities that have been devastated by the tsunami by giving generously. Time is of the essence and it is critical that we act now.”
Ms Higelin went on to say that ActionAid’s response was paying particular attention to the needs of women.
“We expect that women will experience disproportionate impacts of this crisis just as they did with the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 –with widespread destruction, women are likely to face an increased risk of gender-based violence, not to mention loss of their homes and livelihoods. ActionAid is working to ensure that women and their rights are protected in this crisis, and that women’s voices are heard in the immediate response.”
Right now, ActionAid is on the ground assessing damage and ensuring access to lifesaving supplies for those who have lost everything and are without power, water and shelter.
Since the earthquake struck on Friday, ActionAid teams have reached the most affected areas with temporary shelter and provided emergency food, water, blankets, nappies and sanitary kits for women.
ActionAid Australia has launched an appeal to meet the urgent needs identified by women from affected communities, such as safety and essential supplies.
Further information and photographic content contact:
Holly Miller: +61 432 781 294 or [email protected]