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70,000 Palu earthquake refugees need 18,000 tents

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Survivors rough it out in a shelter in Balaroa village after earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 2, 2018. The tsunami hit province is in dire need of 18,000 tents.​ XINHUA

JAKARTA (Xinhua) – Indonesians displaced by quakes and an ensuing tsunami in Central Sulawesi province were in dire need of 18,000 tents for shelter as the construction of temporary settlements was underway, a senior official said Wednesday.

The need for the tents followed strong quakes of 6.0, 7.4 and 6.1 magnitudes that triggered a tsunami devastating Palu, the provincial capital, and adjacent districts of Donggala and Sigi on Sept 28, forcing more than 87,000 people to flee homes, Bernadus Wisnu Widjaja from the national disaster management agency said in Palu.

“Not all refugees use large tents, but also family tents,” he said

By far, a total of 5,000 tents were transported to the disaster areas by humanitarian organisations and as many as 1,300 tents by the Red Cross.

A total of 800 big tents were also needed to accommodate students in the affected areas, he said.

“Apparently, the NGOs also have strength, it was said that there were additional tents,” he said after meeting with NGOs at the National Assistance Post (Pospenas) of the Central Sulawesi Governor’s Office.

The United Nations children’s agency, Unicef has donated 200 tents to damaged local schools.A number of NGOs prepared the tents as public kitchens and partly as the shelter for the Palu earthquake victims.

“If it is still lacking, we (BNPB) will prepare the funds,” he said.

The massive tsunami triggered by the quakes destroyed a total of 67,310 houses and a huge amount infrastructure facility in the central province.

Indonesia is prone to quake as it lies on a vulnerable quake-affected area of the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’.

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