A tsunami has hit Indonesia again this Christmas, specifically the Sonda Strait, located between the islands of Java and Sumatra. So far there are 426 dead, almost 7,200 injured people and more than 40,000 displaced people.
Just a few months ago, at the end of September, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale hit the island of Celebes in the center of the country, and then there was a tsunami with waves up to 6 meters high. More than 2,000 people died, more than 4,400 were injured, and almost 211,000 were displaced.
Almost 152,000 children and their families lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, which, along with low vaccination rates and a high prevalence of acute and chronic malnutrition, increases the risk of contracting diseases. Also, approximately 5,000 children are separated from their relatives, and another 100,000 need psychosocial support.
There are around 1.5 million affected people, 525,000 of them being children. Their most urgent needs are receiving water, shelter, food, and protection.
After the tsunami, children face great threats:
- Missing children: There is a high risk of separating children from their families amid the chaos after the disaster.
- Affected schools: More than 1,200 schools are damaged, which directly affects the education of more than 184,000 children.
- Diseases: The earthquake and the tsunami could interrupt the vaccination campaigns. If the children do not receive their dose of vaccine, they could get sick and, with the health centers collapsed, not receive the appropriate treatment.
- Malnutrition: The malnutrition rates in the affected areas are already very high. In the current situation, treatments may be interrupted, and the number of children with malnutrition may increase.
- Access to potable water at risk: Water distribution systems are damaged by disasters, which leaves the affected population more prone to contracting diseases.