Sunda Strait Tsunami - Singapore Red Cross launches public fundraising appeal, Advance Team arrives in Banten for assessment

Singapore, 27 December 2018 - Responding to the tsunami that hit the coast around the Sunda Straits in Indonesia on 22 December 2018, the Singapore Red Cross’ (SRC) two-man volunteer team has arrived in Banten to conduct ground assessments and collaborate with the Palang Merah Indonesia (“PMI” - Indonesian Red Cross) in its relief distribution. Banten province had been identified as one of the worst affected areas, where the disaster struck the seaside area of Pandeglang during the peak holiday season when it was crowded with tourists. The team arrived on Wednesday night and had met with ground partners to understand the immediate needs.

The Indonesian authorities had, earlier today, rerouted all flights around the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano between Java and Sumatra islands, as it spewed columns of ash into the air. Authorities raised the volcano’s alert level to the second-highest on Thursday, imposing a 5-km exclusion zone.

Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General and CEO of Singapore Red Cross, said, “We started preparations for our relief work within 24 hours after the tsunami struck and we were very fortunate to be able to secure flights at such short notice. As such, our volunteers were able to fly in to Jakarta successfully last evening before the flights were cancelled and they are already on the ground, working together with PMI to provide aid to the affected communities. The safety of our team remains of utmost importance and we will continue to keep in close contact with our volunteers over the course of their mission.”

Back in Singapore, the SRC has launched a public appeal to raise funds to support its relief efforts. Several organisations have expressed interest to initiate fundraisers in support of SRC’s appeal. To date, the

people of Singapore have contributed close to $80,000 in donations.

To assist Singaporeans and Indonesians to locate their immediate family members who may have been affected by the disaster, SRC has also activated its “Restoring Family Links” (RFL) service.

As of 26 December, the number of casualties from the latest tsunami has reached over 429, with some 1,500 injured and 16,000 displaced. Rescue efforts at Indonesia's coastal villages have been hampered by torrential rains and blocked roads, amidst warnings by local authorities of extreme weather and high waves around the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), more than 400 Red Cross staff and volunteers are now delivering medical services and supplies to survivors, clearing debris and supporting search and rescue efforts in Lampung and Banten provinces at the tip of Sumatra and Java. PMI’s mobile medical teams have been working hard to reach remote and hard-to-reach areas to treat people who have not had help since Saturday. SRC will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with our ground partners to render appropriate aid to the affected communities.

Sunda Strait Tsunami Response

The Singapore Red Cross has launched a month-long public appeal (26 December 2018 -25 January 2019) for donations, which will go towards the purchase of relief items for displaced survivors; and longer-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Online Donation - Make an online donation here

Cash donation - Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486 (Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Cheque donation - Please make cheque payable to ‘Singapore Red Cross Society’, to be posted to the above address. Please leave your name, postal address and indicate “Sunda Straits Tsunami 2018” at the back of your cheque.

Note: Donations to overseas efforts are not tax-deductible.

Restoring Family Links

The Singapore Red Cross has activated its“Restoring Family Links” (RFL) service to assist Singaporeans and Indonesians to locate their immediate family members who may have been affected by the disaster with whom they have difficulty in contacting. Call 6664 0536 or email rfl@redcross.sg for assistance.

Photo Credit: Palang Merah Indonesia