NO EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN INDONESIA
On 28 September, an earthquake hit the north of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. A tsunami caused by the earthquake struck the city of Palu, home to around 300,000 residents. A few days later, Première Urgence Internationale sent an assessment team to Indonesia.
“Sulawesi has been affected by several disasters. Firstly, by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake, then by a tsunami that struck the city of Palu. Liquefaction then occurred as a result of the earthquake – the earth itself liquefied,” explains Maxime Banchereau, Emergencies Manager at Première Urgence Internationale.
Maxime travelled to Indonesia to gain a better understanding of the needs in the field and to assess the situation. “It was essential that we visited the country to find out if Première Urgence Internationale’s help was needed, to put together a response if required, and to coordinate with other stakeholders in the field.”
INTERNATIONAL NGOS DENIED ACCESS TO AFFECTED AREAS
The Première Urgence Internationale assessment team took part in coordination meetings in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Ultimately, the authorities made the decision to call primarily on local partners registered in the country. “Foreign NGOs are not permitted to travel directly to the areas affected by the earthquake.”
Without this permission to act, Première Urgence Internationale is therefore unable to provide emergency assistance in Indonesia, but the teams will continue to monitor the situation over the coming months in order to determine whether it will be necessary to support the Indonesian authorities in other ways. “The period of reconstruction will not be without its challenges.”