Oxfam is prepared to respond to the massive earthquake and large tsunami that hit coastal towns in Indonesia’s central island Sulawesi, leaving at least 380 people dead and collapsing hundreds of houses and buildings, according to government and media reports.
The huge 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the coastal town of Palu and Donggala in Central Sulawesi late Friday night Australian time.
The tremor was followed by a large tsunami about 15 minutes later, which destroyed or damaged hundreds of houses along the coast.
The Indonesian Agency for Disaster Mitigation said the death toll on Saturday had reached at least 380 and the figure was expected to rise as assessments continued.
It said government agencies had started to work in the area to support survivors of the quake as aid agencies said the death toll could increase as new areas were accessed.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered government agencies, the military and civilian workers to start helping and recovering bodies and asked for calm for the people in Palu and Donggala.
Oxfam’s Country Director in Indonesia Maria Lauranti said Oxfam partners and staff in the town of Palu were safe and prepared to provide emergency aid to those affected.
“We are accessing the situation now, and Oxfam’s local partners in the town of Palu are ready to be deployed to the area,” Ms Lauranti said.
For interviews with Oxfam spokespeople in Indonesia or Australia, please contact Dylan Quinnell on Friday on 0450 668 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org