Al-Imdaad Foundation joins search and rescue teams retrieving bodies in the Balaroa Housing compound in Palu City on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island which was stuck by an earthquakeand Tsunami. Pictures: Supplied

Durban - Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi last Friday,  the Al-Imdaad Foundation’s relief team has been on the ground accompanying search and rescue teams and delivering emergency relief.

The island was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and a massive tsunami with waves up to 6 metres high added further devastation to coastal areas.

Some of the affected areas included Balaroa, Talise Beach and Petobo.

Al-Imdaad Foundation Trustee, Qari Ziyaad Patel, who is leading the Foundation’s South African team described the phenomenon of soil liquefaction as an unimaginable destruction.

“Even geologists were puzzled by the phenomenon which had turned solid ground to the consistency of liquid.”

Comparing his current experience to those in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Patel said, "I thought I had seen enough in Haiti, but this is on an unprecedented scale. The hardest was seeing corpses and assisting with the retrieval of bodies."

On Wednesday,  the Indonesian Disaster Management Authority (BNPD) reported a death toll of 1407 with over 2 549 injuries, 113 missing persons, and rescue efforts still underway.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla had earlier warned that the final toll could reach into the thousands as numerous smaller towns were still cut-off. Countless buildings have collapsed in Palu and other coastal areas, and electricity and telecommunications are still cut off. Transport networks have also been badly damaged, limiting access to affected areas.

Al-Imdaad Foundation had responded to that earthquake with emergency supplies and continues to rebuild homes for victims.

"Efforts are now being redoubled to address the emergency needs of the latest disaster. The Foundation will continue to address the needs of victims going forward through its Indonesian office and further South Africa teams may also be mobilised in the coming weeks to continue the response," said Patel.

To support these emergency relief efforts contact 0861786243 or donate online at www.alimdaad.com.

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