Disaster After Disaster for Indonesia

Indonesian rescue teams are being overworked as disasters unravel continuously across the country. The 6.2-magnitude earthquake on Sulawesi West, flooding off Southern Kalimantan, landslides at West Java, and more tragedies are continuously hitting the lands of Indonesia. Read on to gain more awareness of the situation the country is in at the moment.

Sulawesi Earthquake

A 6.2-magnitude struck Sulawesi West on Friday (January 15) and the death toll is continuously rising, from about 60 yesterday (January 17) to 84 today. Local rescue teams are still searching for potential survivors who may still be stuck under collapsed buildings. Ariyanto Ardi, section head of the local disaster management department, told CNN on Saturday (January 16) that there are reports and requests for help continuously coming in for people who are trapped under collapsed houses. He also added, “We still have no details how many people are buried under those flattened buildings.”

The devastation caused by the earthquake in Indonesia. Image Credits: Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/ via REUTERS

Meanwhile, over 900 people are injured or hurt, and close to 19,000 people have evacuated from their homes to evacuation centers.

Floods and Landslides

Floods caused by the particularly harsh rain season in Southern Kalimantan have killed more than 15 people, and have forced close to 100,000 people to evacuate. The floods, which went up to as high as 5 feet, have destroyed some 20,000 homes as reported by the disaster management agency. Meanwhile, landslides and waters in Sulawesi have taken the lives of at least 6 people. In addition to that, a landslide in West Java has devastated the area so much that even after 10 days, rescue teams are still looking for survivors, as the death toll increases to 33.

Citizens being rescued from the floods that hit due to heavy rains. Image Credits : AP, Putra

Volcanic Eruptions

Since 4th January, Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, began erupting and has been pouring out hot lava. Till date, close to 500 people have been evacuated, as reported by the Disaster Management of Magelang District.

Mount Merapi spewing lava. Image Credits : REUTERS

To add on, Indonesia’s highest volcano, Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday on Java Island, sending thick smoke and ash into the atmosphere.


The previous tragedies, including the Sriwijaya Air flight crash, have actually led to an increase of daily cases of COVID-19 transmissions in Indonesia, from about 11,000 cases on January 11 to about 14,000 cases each on January 16 and 17. With more and more people getting evacuated to stay in evacuation centers, space for social distancing is reducing to a minimum. The head of the country’s disaster management agency, Doni Monardo, said on January 17 that rapid antigen test kits were in the process of being given to evacuation centers to check and trace for potential COVID-19 transmissions.

It has been a harsh start of 2021 for Indonesia, and the least we can do is to support them by gaining awareness of the situation and by donating resources if possible.

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