Indonesia tsunami: What do you do when all is destroyed?
CARE staff reporting from the earthquake-affected areas of Palu and Donggala on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi said today:
We are still getting aftershocks on a regular basis and the rainy season has now started. People are still sleeping out in the open as they are scared to go back to their homes and they are very worried about the spread of diseases like diarrhoea.
Much of the area has been affected by liquefaction – a phenomenon caused by the shaking of the ground during an earthquake, which breaks up the soil and, combining with groundwater, turns previously solid earth into something like quicksand, causing buildings and other structures to shift and move.
CARE staff on the ground said:
People are most terrified of this liquefaction phenomenon, more than the earthquake itself and the aftershocks. Imagine watching your house shift 300 metres right in front of you. People told us it looks like a wave when it moves.
They say – if you are outside then you are safe from the earthquake, but if liquefaction happens it can get you even outside; there is nowhere that is safe. People are very worried another big quake will cause more liquefaction and they will have nowhere to go, nowhere left to run to.
The situation is becoming increasingly desperate. CARE staff said:
There are already some cases of fever and other illnesses. The rainy season also means there are more mosquitos, and this is especially bad for the young children sleeping outside without any mosquito nets.
People – women in particular – are telling us their big worries are things like milk for their babies, being able to go back to their houses and rebuilding after all this destruction.
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