Sulawesi quake: Singapore Red Cross, Mercy Relief launch fund-raising appeals for quake victims

Indonesians salvaging usable items from the debris of a collapsed building in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Oct 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area last Friday.
Indonesians salvaging usable items from the debris of a collapsed building in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Oct 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area last Friday.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and Mercy Relief, Singapore’s homegrown humanitarian non-governmental organisation (NGO), are making  fund-raising appeals to the public to aid the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi, in Indonesia, last Friday (Sept 28).

More than 1,200 people have died and 16,700 people in the province were left homeless after the 7.4-magnitude quake and tsunami it triggered caused widespread devastation to areas including the provincial capital Palu and nearby Donggala regency.

The SRC has already pledged $50,000 in humanitarian aid to support affected communities in Central Sulawesi, said its spokesman in a statement on Monday (Oct 1).

The spokesman added that its international services team is closely monitoring the situation across four affected cities and regencies, including Palu, Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Mouton.

A 14-day state of emergency was declared by the Central Sulawesi regional government on Sunday to mobilise and coordinate logistics and aid to reach survivors.

The SRC is also planning to send a three-person advance response team, which could depart as early as Tuesday, on a six-day mission to conduct ground assessments and support the Palang Merah Indonesia, or Indonesian Red Cross Society, to distribute relief supplies to displaced families.

All donations to the SRC will go towards the purchase of relief items, such as first aid supplies, hygiene kits, water systems, jerry cans, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, blankets and sleeping mats for displaced survivors; and towards the longer-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

"The extent of the full devastation is still unfolding - with a rapidly increasing number of fatalities, hundreds of collapsed houses and buildings, and tens of thousands of homeless people," said SRC secretary-general and chief executive Benjamin William said.

 
 

"The twin disaster has also caused much damage to infrastructure, including the network of roads and bridges. This poses difficulty to not just the search and rescue efforts, but also the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the affected areas. The humanitarian needs are dire, and we are working closely with PMI on relief efforts to affected areas. We stand in solidarity with our Indonesian friends during this difficult time," he said, referring to the Indonesian Red Cross Society.

Mercy Relief will also be sending its disaster response team to Palu. The team is travelling on Tuesday (Oct 2) morning to provide the first phase of emergency relief distribution.

Immediate needs of the communities include shelter kits, solar light, medical service, water and food items, the Mercy Relief said in a media release on Monday (Oct 1).

Mercy Relief, which is working closely with its local partners to ascertain pressing needs of the communities, will determine the next phase of disaster relief.

Mercy Relief will be launching a public fundraising appeal in Singapore from Oct 1 to Oct 31.

The public can make their donations through Mercy Relief via the following channels:

1. Credit Card donation via Mercy Relief’s website: www.mercyrelief.org

2. Crossed cheque made out to “Mercy Relief Limited” with “Sulawesi Earthquake 2018 Relief” and email address written on the back of the cheque, and mailed to Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160

3. Cash donations at Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160

4. Fund transfer to Mercy Relief’s DBS Current Account 054-900741-2

5. Crowdfund via giving.sg for the “Sulawesi Earthquake 2018 Relief”: https://www.giving.sg/mercy-relief/sulawesi_earthquake_2018

Those who would like to make a donation through the SRC can do so in the following ways:

1. Online donation - redcross.give.asia/sulawesi

2. Cash donation - Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486 (Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

3. Cheque donation - Please make cheque payable to "Singapore Red Cross Society", to be posted to the above address. Please leave your name, postal address and indicate "Sulawesi Earthquake 2018" at the back of your cheque.

Note: Donations to overseas efforts are not tax-deductible.

The SRC has also activated its Restoring Family Links (RFL) service to assist Singaporeans and Indonesians in locating their immediate family members who may have been affected by the disaster with whom they have difficulty in contacting. They can call 6664 0536 or e-mail rfl@redcross.sg for assistance.