Voice of the Cape

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Tremor hits Indonesia

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Residents of Palu in Indonesia were startled on Tuesday morning, after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck the city.

Volunteers travelling with NGO, Gift of the Givers, explained that they had to evacuate their rooms to seek safety.

The tremor follows a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi Island 10 days ago killing more than 1000 people.

The 5.2 magnitude tremor came as a climax after three mild aftershocks in the early hours of Tuesday.

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said he was called at 5am local time by volunteers frantically searching for safety.
“Volunteers were sleeping at the time and called me to inform me about the tremor. I could hear them trying to evacuate their rooms in search of safety,” Sooliman stated.

Sooliman said that despite feeling a rush of fear during the few seconds of the tremor, the team immediately returned to work as they were more motivated and determined to help those affected.

Authorities in Indonesia are giving themselves until Thursday to find around 5,000 missing people before declaring them dead.

The army there is leading the disaster relief efforts and have applied strict rules on how international aid organisations should operate, restricting access unless working with a local NGO.

No foreign NGOs are allowed to go directly to the field and conduct any activity on the sites affected by the disaster without being monitored.

The Gift of the Givers team spent most of Monday assessing how it will work within the rules set by the Indonesian government.

Team leader Ahmad Bham said: “We need to register our team there with our local NGO. From there they’ll give us guidance on what we can and cannot do.”

It is understood, the reasons behind the restrictions is because of the risk of the spread of disease and the aftershocks of the earthquake that can still be felt.

[VOC and News24]
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