7 Facts About the History of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Indonesia

help-for-indonesia-earthquake-tsunami-victimsSave the Children knows from years of experience that children are often the most vulnerable when disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis hit. In 2004, we mounted one of the largest humanitarian recovery efforts in Aceh following the Boxing Day Tsunami. We have spent the two decades since investing in the region to better prepare the children of Indonesia and their families for natural disasters. 

Find out seven things you need to know about emergency response efforts in Indonesia

1. Indonesia is the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands, a fact that puts the delicate islands constantly at risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunamis.

2. Widespread poverty, political instability and poor resource distribution contribute to the region’s fragile infrastructure, which is why Save the Children has been working in Indonesia for more than three decades.

3. On December 26, 2004, an underwater earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people. The 100-foot-tall wall of water devastated the coastline of nine countries on the Indian Ocean and thousands of communities were left in ruins. Save the Children’s dedicated emergency responders were there, helping 276,000 survivors recover.

4. On December 7, 2014, a deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In Pidie Jaya district, one of the two worst affected, an estimated 25% to 30% of schools sustained damage, with at least seven schools totally destroyed. Save the Children responded, setting up temporary classrooms and establishing child friendly spaces so that so children could have a place to be safe and engage in educational play while their parents began the recovery process.

5. Today, Save the Children’s teams are working around the clock to help protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families in the wake of a 7.5 earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi on September 28.

The magnitude quake triggered a tsunami with waves reportedly up to three meters high near the island’s capital Palu. Thousands are feared dead, with a confirmed death toll at 1,400 and rising. Widespread destruction is evident and hundreds of thousands of children remain at grave risk.

Save the Children is providing emergency supplies and hygiene kits to families affected by the quake and are planning to set up Child Friendly Spaces in shelters for those who have lost their homes, to ensure families and children are safe and have the supplies they need, like diapers and cribs.

While we still don’t know the full scale of the crisis yet, we do know it is immense and have grave fears for the families in this area.

6. 2004, 2016 and now 2018 all mark historic dates around devastating tsunamis and earthquakes in Indonesia. Many thousands of children lost their lives and many surviving children lost one or both parents. Children – especially those living in poverty – are the most vulnerable victims of a disaster and its aftermath. Their families are uprooted and their normal routines are often destroyed.

7. As Save the Children continues to respond with emergency assistance, we need your help now more than ever. Your generous gift can help protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families. 

To learn more about Save the Children’s response and how you can help, please visit our website.