U.S. provides disaster relief to Indonesia

After a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28, the United States immediately began preparing to help.

Soldiers approaching an airplane (© Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/Reuters)
Indonesian soldiers deploying to Palu on September 29. (© Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/Reuters)

“The United States and Indonesia are strategic partners and friends, and we stand ready to assist in the relief effort,” said Heather Nauert, the U.S. Department of State spokesperson, on September 30.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is airlifting rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting to Indonesia to provide emergency shelter for more than 110,000 people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. More than 1,550 were killed and over 2,500 injured in the disaster.

Also on its way: three C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to support USAID’s delivery of humanitarian aid.

Within days of the calamity, U.S. disaster experts were in the coastal city of Palu, near the center of the earthquake, assessing damage and identifying immediate needs, working closely with local authorities, the government of Indonesia and humanitarian organizations.

The earthquake and tsunami displaced more than 70,000 people from their homes. The USAID team is working with World Vision to provide emergency shelter and other supplies, including water, sanitation, blankets, hygiene kits and solar-powered lamps.

People sitting in tent (© Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)
A family huddled together in a temporary emergency shelter in Palu on October 2. (© Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

U.S. companies and business groups in Indonesia also have joined together to raise funds and support for the relief effort.

President Trump called President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia on October 2 to share his condolences and offer help for the victims and their families.