Salvation Army ‘Compassion in Action’ teams in Indonesia are supporting communities affected by an earthquake in the Central Sulawesi Province on 18 August.
One of the worst-hit areas was the Lindu District, where five Salvationists lost their lives. Salvation Army corps (churches) and a school were among many buildings to suffer significant damage. Many people have lost their homes.
The earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale, caused devastation across Central Sulawesi Province. Initial reports suggested that Kulawi, Tuwa and Salua Districts had suffered the worst damage, but it soon became clear that Lindu had also been badly hit.
Major Yusak Tampai, leader of The Salvation Army's Eastern Palu Division, says Salvationists make up 90 per cent of the population in Lindu and Kulawi. In Salua, about half the community members are Salvationists.
Territorial Commander Commissioner Basuki Kartodarsono was in the province when the earthquake struck. When the news from Lindu came through he visited the district, accompanied by Major Tampai, traveling by helicopter.
Salvation Army ‘Compassion in Action’ teams undertook a rapid response to supply food and medical services in Kulawi, Tuwa and Salua. Trauma counselling is also being offered.
Colonel Mike Parker (Chief Secretary, Indonesia Territory) has visited Lindu District to give support and encouragement, and to pray with those who have lost loved ones, homes and possessions. He reports, ‘Salvationists are in good spirits, have a strong faith and are coping well with this situation. The logistics are in place to provide immediate support and goods. The bigger challenge will be the rebuilding of homes and halls.’
The Salvation Army is also offering emergency relief in another area of Sulawesi where four lives were lost and a number of homes were swept away in a mudslide, and in Manado, North Sulawesi, where a volcanic eruption has caused concern.