UN pledges aid for Indonesian quake, tsunami victims

By Betul Yuruk

UNITED NATIONS (AA) – The UN said Tuesday that it is allocating $15 million to assist victims in Indonesia after an earthquake and tsunami wreaked mass devastation on the island of Sulawesi.

The death toll from the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami has risen to 1,347, according to the country’s Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

According to a statement by the UN, an estimated 66,000 homes and vital infrastructure were damaged, including roads and bridges.

The statement said the UN is allocating $15 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support the victims affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

“Thousands of people are unable to return to their damaged or destroyed homes and aftershocks continue. While the government and first responders are working tirelessly to deliver life-saving aid, the needs remain vast,” it added.

Victims of the disaster are having difficulty obtaining necessities such as food and drinking water.

Search and rescue work in collapsed buildings throughout the region continues.

In Palu city and Donggala regency, aftershocks are raising fears of a new earthquake, with some people whose homes were left undamaged by the quake afraid to spend the night in them.

The disaster in Central Sulawesi could be Indonesia’s second-largest tragedy after the 2004 Aceh tsunami that killed more than 170,000 people.

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