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At least 844 people have died, thousands made homeless and over 1.5 million individuals affected by the magnitude-7.5 tremor and waves that reached high as six meters. The death toll is set to rise, as rescue efforts continue.

Christian Aid is supporting the delivery of food, shelter, clean water, sanitation and other relief supplies in the city of Palu and the district of Donggala in Central Sulawesi, two of the worst-hit areas. This work is being coordinated by Christian Aid’s sister agencies YEU and CWS, fellow members of the global ACT Alliance network.

Madara Hettiarachchi, Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia and Middle East, said: “We are deeply saddened by the devastation triggered by the earthquake and tsunami: it has wrecked lives, torn apart communities and caused untold suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.

“As the rubble is cleared in the coming days and week, we expect the death toll to rise. Right now, many survivors are being forced to sleep in the open, in fear of further aftershocks. Many communities are cut off from the outside world, with power supplies and telecommunications down. Food and water supplies will be running low. Medical services are under severe strain.

“Our sister agencies YEU and CWS have been assessing the scale of damage in some of the hardest-hit areas and identifying the most pressing needs of women, children and men in Palu and Donggala. They have told us people urgently need access to safe drinking water, food, shelter, health and hygiene supplies.”

She continued: “In the coming months, there will be a real need in communities for support with housing, income and access to basic amenities – such as sanitation, telecommunications and electricity. Although Christian Aid does not have an office in Indonesia, we are poised to provide as much assistance as we can – through our sister agencies – so that survivors of this catastrophe can rebuild their lives.”