Jakarta, 28 February – Following Friday’s 6.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, reportedly killing 11 people and injuring hundreds more, Save the Children is urgently distributing aid to families, including shelter and hygeine kits, as well as setting up child friendly spaces. The charity will also be helping to trace the families of any separated children.
Acting Chief of Advocacy, Communication, Campaign, and Media for Save the Children in Indonesia, Dewi Sri Sumanah said:
“While the extent of the earthquake damage is still unclear, we know children are often the most vulnerable following disasters and it can be really frightening for them, especially if they don’t have access to safe shelter or food.
“Save the Children is conducting a rapid assessment to urgently identify the needs of those affected. As a priority we will be distributing hygeine kits to families, containing essentials like soap and buckets, as well as play packages for children.
Devi, 29, was having breakfast with her one-year-old child and husband when the earthquake hit. They immediately rushed out of their home as it collapsed around them. Devi carried her baby and ran for safety with her husband, sibling and parents. They now live in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp at a local elementary school along with 300 other survivors, who’s houses were also damaged by the earthquake and its aftershocks.
Devi and her family fled their home with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and now rely on the limited essentials available in the camp.
“I am worried about the needs of my child,” said Devi. “We didn’t bring anything at the time, because we panicked, we didn’t bring anything. We need baby diapers, baby oil, and other baby supplies.”
According to information compiled by the response team of Jemari Sekato, which is a Save the Children organisation partner who have been on the ground since the earthquake, the IDP camps are in dire need of clean water, drinking water, food, baby needs, and clothing. The school building where they are evacuated has only one faucet, but the water is dirty, and its flow is very slow.