After a tragic earthquake struck the island of Sulewesi, Indonesia, on September 29, 2018, Islamic Relief USA sent staff to aid survivors. IRUSA also worked with the local Islamic Relief office to bring vital aid like water, tarps, food, emergency cell phones, as well as other assistance to survivors.

Our staff met Rori and Rheyza, sister and brother survivors of the quake. Rori was a married mother of a six-month-old when the earthquake hit her home in Palu on Sulewesi Island. As the ground and buildings shook, her and her husband ran outside with their baby. Suddenly, the ground opened and Rori fell into the huge crack. A car fell on her, shattering her leg. She was stuck and couldn’t move, so she cried out for help.

Hours later, her husband was able to gather people to come and dig her out. She survived— but hundreds of others were buried alive with their homes. As Rori tried to escape, she was separated from her mother who died, as well as five other family members.

Rori’s younger brother Rheyza was miles away during the quake, and took the first flight he could to the island. He then battled debris and mud slides to get back to his family. When he arrived to see the remains of his home, he wept. He told Islamic Relief that what he saw, along with the grief over lost family members, completely broke his spirit.

Rheyza, Rori, and their remaining family took refuge in a house still standing, that was further up the coast from their neighborhood. The house hosted 20 other people, many of whom had nothing except the clothes they wore when they escaped their homes.

Islamic Relief USA provided Rori and Rheyza with emergency aid in their time of dire need. Worldwide, there are many others disaster survivors like them. IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team uses your donations to aid as many of them as possible. We must do what we can to ensure that survivors receive basic essentials to survive the extremely difficult post-disaster time.