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Recovering after the devastating earthquakes in Indonesia

Erti and her family are slowly recovering after recent earthquakes destroyed their house

Erti lives with her husband, Jonathan, their two children, and her two-year-old granddaughter Felicia in a small village in Indonesia.  

When the 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island on 28 September, 146 houses in Erti’s village were completely turned to rubble – including Erti’s home. 

Erti with her granddaughter

It was late afternoon when the earthquake shook the village. Erti was having a shower at the time, unaware of what was going to happen next.

The quake took her by surprise, and she watched in horror as her bathroom wall collapsed in front of her. But it was her only safe exit out of the house.

I was in the shower, there was no time to get dressed, so I just ran.

On her way out, Erti broke a rib, but her first thought was her family’s safety.

Fortunately, the rest of the family were sitting outside at the time of the earthquake and had all safely made it to the roadside next to their house.  

 

I was panicking. As soon as I got out I tried to find my daughter and granddaughter.

 

Keeping the family safe


Erti with her family

That night, the family joined the rest of the community and slept outside a school.

They all grouped together and made a temporary shelter out of tarpaulin, to be able to sleep safely following the horror of the powerful earthquake.

They had no choice but to stay in this temporary shelter for a whole month, until they were given vital ShelterBox aid. 

We had nothing, only what we were wearing.

A long way to recovery


Erti working with cocoa

Erti and her family were given a sturdy ShelterBox tent, which they set up on the land where their house once stood.

It will take months before they can start rebuilding their home. It will be a long process, but for now they have a place to continue normal family life - a private place to call their own where they can eat, sleep and be together as a family.

The tent is very helpful, we feel safe inside. We are healing, life is slowly getting better, but we are still frightened because there are more [aftershocks].

We were able to reach the family with help from the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), and our partner Rotary. The BNPB not only supported ShelterBox, but they also provided a helicopter to transport ShelterBox tents, mosquito nets, water filters, and water carriers to villages in the Lindu region of central Sulawesi. This area was still inaccessible by road one month after the earthquake. 

Right now, there are many people all around the world who, just like Erti, have lost everything. You can give them hope and security in their darkest hour. Will you support our work today? 

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