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Help among the chaos

05 October 2018, Emergencies

Once Puri* realised it was an earthquake, it was too late 

Puri, 9 was preparing to perform her evening prayers when suddenly she felt the ground shaking.

Once she realised it was an earthquake, it was too late. The pillars of the house fell on her head and she can’t remember anything that happened after that.  

When Puri was found she was almost unconscious, buried face downwards in the rubble. She has just one hand that remained free which is what she used to make noise and attract attention. Puri has suffered a serious head injury and when Save the Children spoke to her she was with her older brother Dimas*, 33 who was among the people who rescued her.

"Our house, where Puri was found shifted almost 50 meters from its original location. Very few houses remain intact. I didn't expect anything to be saved at that time. Puris survival was a miracle” said Dimas.  

When Save the Children found Puri and Dimas they were at Mutiara Airport in Palu, awaiting an emergency plane to take them to Makassar for treatment. Dimas said it was a miracle his sister survived and is hoping she’ll get to Makassar as soon as possible.

Save the Children’s partner assessment team provided logistical support to get Puri and her brother to reach the right hospital for the urgent help she needed amidst the chaos of the disaster zone. 

A catastrophic magnitude 7.5 earthquake and 20-foot-high tsunami caused massive damage and loss of life on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28, 2018.  

The effect was horrifying. Buildings collapsed, lives were lost and huge waves swept away homes and other structures. Over 1.5 million people are affected, including at least 600,000 children.

Image: Save the Children

Now children are at their most vulnerable, especially the many girls and boys tragically separated from their families or orphaned. 

Save the Children is on the ground providing shelter and hygiene kits to families and children. These are vital to help stop the spread of disease and to provide somewhere safe to sleep.

*Names have been changed to protect identity

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