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Sulawesi earthquake Swiss deliver humanitarian aid to Indonesia

A resident passing through the ruins of a house in Balaroa, central Sulawesi, on Monday

A resident passing through the ruins of a house in Balaroa, central Sulawesi, on Monday

(Keystone)

Thirteen experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit have started work on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, following a devastating earthquake at the end of September. They are helping with the construction of shelters, drinking water treatment, logistics and coordination in the city of Palu. 

The Indonesian government is aware of their presence, the Swiss foreign affairs ministry said on Monday. Another expert is stationed in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. He is helping the Swiss embassy coordinate with the Indonesian government and aid workers. 

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The Indonesian government has declared there is an urgent need for drinking water, medical supplies, logistical coordination and the supply of electricity. 

As a result, Switzerland sent a second cargo flight to the area on Monday, with a further 30 tonnes of relief supplies. This includes drinking water stations, means to clean wells and tarpaulins for emergency shelters. 

The second delivery also brought to the disaster area an additional 300 climate-suitable family tents with cooking equipment and mosquito nets for about 1,500 people. In addition, there are 30 multi-purpose tents, which can be used as classrooms, health centres or storage rooms.

Inside Geneva Disaster relief: what really works?

In Indonesia, the overriding theme seems to be the same as in the past: 'where is the aid and why is it taking so long to arrive?'

SDA-ATS/ts

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