Amidst the destruction and ruin in the city of Palu, family members embrace each other, weeping tears of joy as they were reunited in the aftermath of Sulawesi’s double disaster. One of them, Andi Satar, is a volunteer with the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI).
Satar had been searching for his parents for more than a week while also working hard helping other people find missing family members, as the Restoring Family Links coordinator at the Indonesian Red Cross Central Sulawesi emergency response post. His relentless search at each evacuation post in the remote area of his family’s home finally paid off.
He said: “I’m overwhelmed with feelings of happiness and sadness because I’ve finally been reunited with my parents. I hadn’t heard from them or found anyone who knew where they were for over a week. I had almost given up.”
Satar’s friends rallied to give him encouragement and refused to let him end his search. “Because of their support, I continued to work hard to help people who were experiencing the same thing as I did,” he said. His mother, 50-year-old Samsiar, nods in agreement.
They were reunited at the evacuation site in the village of Toaya Vunta, a subdistrict in Donggala. It has been more than a week since a series of earthquakes struck the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi, triggered a powerful tsunami and caused a phenomenon called soil liquefication that destroyed an entire village in Palu.
Nearly 300 people are still missing, as many people lost their relatives when searching for a safe place to take shelter when the earthquake struck. Many scattered outside their homes only to be swept away by the tsunami.
People looking for missing family members can go to www.familylinks.icrc.org/indonesia or go directly to any Indonesian Red Cross posts in the areas affected by the double disaster.
Translated from a story by Atep Maulana, Indonesian Red Cross