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Sulawesi Disaster

Over the last 7 days, the country of Indonesia has undergone a series of natural disasters.

The aftermath in the city of Palu 

The country of Indonesia has always proved a difficult place to live throughout human history. This is cause of its location on the belt of fire, the portion of the world that wraps around the Pacific ocean that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Its thousands of islands are littered with active volcanoes. The people of this nation are no stranger to natural bred chaos.  Although on the 28th of September mother nature would concoct one of  those abnormal events that would cost the lives of thousands. The event ignited when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake ruptured the earths surface near Lende; a small town on the northern part of one of the nations islands. The massive quake would ripple on to form a titan 20 foot wave that would roll right into the bay leading toward the city of Palu.  The town of Donggala, city of Palu, Petobo and Balaroa were all  severely impacted by the tsunami. Palu got the short end of stick taking the brunt of the wave, this cost thousands of homes to be damaged and the cities biggest bridge to collapse. After several days the death toll has racked up to well over 1,500 people, with a few thousand people still believed to be unaccounted for. 2.4 million in total are believed to have been effected in some way by the fall out of this catastrophe, 600,000 of those are said to be children. The large scale body count is highly due to a warnings system failure, reports from on the ground news agencies said people had little time to prepare for what was to come. Although the Indonesian government may not be to blame. Scientist are speculating over the fact that earthquakes that take place on land usually do not go on to form tsunamis, in retrospect claiming the secondary natural disaster to be no doubt a rare event.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo was hesitant to receive assistance from the outside world, confident his own military could handle the situation. Although when he saw the extent amount of damage caused by the double calamity, he reconsidered. Hundreds of thousands of people are still in need of major help. Rescue efforts have been the main concern of the countries government but obstacles such as broken transportation lines and liquefied terrain, make it no easy task. Indonesian disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Porwo Nugroho stated to the press that a thousand people alone believed to be missing, most likely washed away by that liquefied mud caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Matters were feared to make rescue efforts worse when the volcano Suputan erupted Wednesday morning. It shot tons of chemicals and ash into the sky which caused concern for air traffic attempting to come in to provide aid to survivors. In fact there remain places that have yet to receive any kind of aid whats so ever. Survivors have been forced to scavenge for themselves, some even resorting to loot stores and markets for food and supplies. Spokesman Nugroho also released some information on rescued survivors stating 26 people had been rescued in Petebo and 48 in Balaroa.

The United Nations has spear headed the campaign for worldwide assistance to the vast amount of victims suffering because of this on going disaster. 20 airplanes have already been dispatched loaded with tons of vital supplies such as food, medical equipment and generators. Countries all around the world are pitching in to lend a hand. The United States has even donated 15 million dollars dedicated to providing the people of Palu and surrounding towns with more food and materials. It is believed a total of 20 countries have in some way lent aid out to those in need in the wake of this historic event.

Indonesia is an experienced country when it comes to facing and reacting to catastrophic acts of  nature. Throughout the course of this event and its aftermath the nations government has for the most part responded accordingly, with the well being of its people largely in mind. The president recognized that this was more then his own government could handle and so he put his pride aside and accepted assistance, which is a noble gesture in my opinion.

The Earth has been doing a variety of things you would think only staged Hollywood movies. This year's natural disasters alone have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands around the world. It is not to say that the world is days away from a planet wide natural disaster. Although it would be fair for one to say that if humanity came together to prepare for one, then maybe we wouldn't be completely out of luck the day one were to ever take place. For extensive updates and coverage on this particular story visit Al Jazeera. Also if you would like to do your own part for humanity and donate to the people of Indonesia effected by this disaster visit Save the Children or the RedCross websites. It is of the upmost importance that we look out for those in serious need and any little bit can go a long way.

Carlos Guerra
Carlos Guerra

Born an raised in Miami, Florida. Working to show my daughter that if you work hard and implement all of your passion and dedication into your dreams, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Any donations are much appreciated.

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