Singapore, 18 January 2021 - In response to the devastating earthquake that struck the western coast of Sulawesi island in Indonesia on 15 January, and the ongoing catastrophic floods in South Kalimantan, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is committing S$150,000 at the first instance to support relief and recovery operations by the Palang Merah Indonesia (“PMI” - Indonesian Red Cross) towards both disasters. The aid will be channeled towards the purchase of food supplies and relief items, such as blankets, mattresses, hygiene parcels, family kits, tarpaulins, clean water, ready meals etc.
In addition, SRC will be launching a public fundraising appeal to support the communities affected by the double disasters in Indonesia. Details of the appeal will be made available on SRC’s website and social media platforms.
West Sulawesi Earthquake
The 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi Province in Indonesia in the early morning of 15 January. A smaller 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck the same area a day before. The earthquake triggered landslides in at least 3 areas, with electricity and communication networks being temporarily disrupted. As of 15 January, at least 42 fatalities and more than 637 injuries have been reported. Multiple buildings have suffered damages, including the local airport at Mamju and a hospital. Over 300 houses have also sustained damages, with more than 15,000 people temporarily displaced in 10 evacuation sites.
Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General and CEO of Singapore Red Cross, said, “We are deeply saddened by the lives lost after Indonesia was once again struck by a major earthquake. The ongoing global pandemic will further complicate the response to this disaster. Our counterparts at PMI are currently engaged in search and rescue operations, with specialist ambulance crews and first aid teams deployed on the ground to treat people injured in the earthquake. The full extent of the devastation is still unfolding - with an increasing number of fatalities, hundreds of collapsed houses and buildings, and tens of thousands of homeless people.”
South Kalimantan Floods
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the floods have affected more than 220,000 persons with about 40,000 displaced persons and 25,000 houses destroyed. Five districts in South Kalimantan province have been affected - Banjar, Tanah Laut, Tapin, Balangan, Hulu Sungai Tengah) - with the worst affected areas being Banjar and Tanah Laut.
Mr William explained, “As the heavy rains persist, there is no sign of respite from the floods for the affected communities in South Kalimantan and the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days. The floods have caused much damage to infrastructure, including the network of roads and bridges. This poses difficulty to not just the search and rescue efforts, but also the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the affected areas. PMI has been actively responding to both disasters, supporting the affected communities with food and relief, besides the rescue operations. We stand in solidarity with our Indonesian neighbours during this difficult time.”
SRC has also activated its “Restoring Family Links” (RFL) service to assist Singaporeans and others to locate their immediate family members who may have been affected by the disaster with whom they have difficulty in contacting. For assistance, please contact SRC at firstname.lastname@example.org.