This is serious, unspeakable

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by Neil Godfrey

Nearly a week ago I was horrified enough to post Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Since then the scale of the calamity has not disappointed our worst fears back then. The better part of whole villages and towns demolished by the tsunami, inland whole villages effectively sunk in mud and sinkholes from the quake, access roads cut off. People who were days ago heard from beneath the ruins are now silent, dead. There is now talk of simply covering over whole urban areas and declaring them mass graves.

As for the damage caused by the tsunami, we have learned that one of the warning monitors set up to warn of such an impending disaster after the 2004 tsunami had been broken for a very long time and reportedly no money had been available to repair it.

Tonight I heard a relief worker remind us that Indonesia has “only been a democracy for 20 years” — it used to be under military dictatorship — so that who is in charge of what is still a bit “higgledy piggledy”. The most basic aid is still, a week later, to reach many of the worst hit areas.

Indonesia tsunami: Balaroa and Petobo face being turned into mass graves after earthquake


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Neil Godfrey

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3 thoughts on “This is serious, unspeakable”

  1. As you say, Neil, this compound disaster is unspeakably horrific. Are there any particular rescue orgs in the area you can recommend us to donate to?

    1. It appears that progress has been slow and outsider aid agencies are still to gain full access.

      Doctors without Borders (a “local team” has gained access, according to the website) — Red Cross (their website says an Indonesian Red Cross team has gained access) — I hear that World Vision Australian branch has only recently got some Australians into the afflicted areas. (Their local teams who would normally have been first on the scene were themselves devastated with their own losses to be of assistance.)

      (And this is a week after the event! It’s tempting to blast government officials but one has to be careful to keep them on side if one wants any hope of getting in sooner rather than later.)

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