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Left Source: Sabahnazua Instagram account. Right: Ponulele bridge (Source: Chalyvers Instagram account).

Singapore’s humanitarian assistance for the earthquakes and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Singapore Government has offered to send humanitarian supplies and personnel to assist Indonesia with the ongoing relief efforts following the earthquakes and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia on Friday (28 September).

In a press release on Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MFA) shared that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will deliver humanitarian supplies and equipment, including tents, meal rations and medical supplies via two Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft.

Thereafter, the aircraft will continue to assist Indonesia with disaster relief efforts, such as the evacuation of civilians from the affected areas, it added.

The 7.5-magnitude earthquake triggered tsunami waves as high as 6 metres, sweeping ashore in the small city of Palu on the west coast of Sulawesi.

According to the local news media, Indonesia's national disaster mitigation agency has stated that the death toll had reached at least 1347 people, including 34 students who were found dead under the rubble of a church in Sigi Biromaru District, Sigi Regency, on Tuesday.

The Head of the agency Willem Rampangile, told the media at a press conference at the disaster management post, Palu, that as 113 people are still missing and there are still some bodies that are still buried.

Mr Willem then said that currently the agency is still focusing in search and rescue efforts.

However, he stressed that the number of the victims is likely to increase because many have not been evacuated from the rubble of the buildings and data from other regions, such as Donggala, Sigi Regency, and Parigi Moutong regency have not been obtained, even though the government has begun to reach the area, due to infrastructure damage.

The ministry also stressed that Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has deployed two SCDF officers to participate in the ten-day mission to Central Sulawesi by the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) from 29 September to 9 October 2018, which is coordinated by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).

In addition,SCDF is prepared to send a separate team of officers to assist with search and rescue operations as well as disaster relief efforts.

It also noted that the Singapore Government will also make a contribution of US$100,000 as seed money to kick start the public fundraising appeal by the Singapore Red Cross.

"The Singapore Government will work closely with the Indonesian Government in the delivery of our humanitarian assistance, and will be guided by the needs and priorities outlined by the Indonesian Government," the ministry added.