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Rotary and Shelterbox Respond to Tsunami

By James Bolton

Published October 2, 2018

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland website


On Friday 28th September, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami with 6m-high waves devastated the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Over 1,200 have died, with the death toll expected to rise, and thousands of homes have been turned to rubble.

ShelterBox is sending a Response Team to Indonesia to understand how they might be able to help Sulawesi families who have lost everything.

Access to the affected area is severely restricted and the full extent of the destruction and damage to homes is not yet fully understood.

ShelterBox is in contact with the Indonesian Government, the disaster management organisations, and are in contact with Rotary in Indonesia to understand more.

This is tragically the latest in a series of earthquakes to hit Indonesia recently.

Alf Evans, ShelterBox Head of Operations explained, “This is the fifth major earthquake in about a month, but this one is more sinister.

“This one is a slide slip earthquake. Normally those sorts of earthquakes do not trigger tsunamis, particularly when they’re on land as this one was.

“What people believe has happened is that it has caused a landslide under the sea and that has caused a 10 foot (3 metre) tsunami to come into land and unfortunately near Sulawesi there’s a bay that has focused that tsunami.”

A ShelterBox Team are currently on the Indonesian Island of Lombok, where ShelterBox has been working for the last month helping families recover from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake which hit in August and left 20,000 people homeless.

Teams have just finished distributing 665 shelters to families in that area.

ShelterBox has aid stored nearby in Malaysia and they are working with their contacts to understand any importation restrictions, and how they might be able to get it in.

As well as their team in Lombok, ShelterBox is also helping families recover after super typhoon Mangkhut devastated homes in the Philippines, and in Kenya where flooding has made thousands of families homeless.

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