Eleven-year-old Taufiq still remembers when a series of earthquakes hit his village, Ombo, in Central Sulawesi last year. “I was inside the house with my mother when the quake struck”, he said. Expecting other quakes or a tsunami, Taufiq, his family and neighbors fled to nearby mountains. And, even when they returned home, thousands of people camped out in tents for months. “Before our village was destroyed by the earthquake, we had not received information on what to do when disasters strike”, said Taufiq at an event marking the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. This event, held each October, showcases how communities and governments around the world are reducing the negative effects of inevitable exposure to natural disasters.
In disaster prone Indonesia, CWS and our national partner, INANTA work together to help communities, including children, increase disaster preparedness. A community-based disaster risk management effort in Central Sulawesi, the site of the earthquake Taufiq experienced, is one CWS response. Recently, information sessions and disaster response simulations were held, including one at Taufiq’s school.
Even basic information and protective actions are vital to life-saving and harm avoidance. During the simulation, Taufiq and other students practiced protecting their heads as a first measure, and then evacuation. Now, Taufiq says he feels more prepared because he knows what to do if his village experiences another earthquake, which is likely since the area is prone to this risk. CWS is proud to support at-risk communities, especially schools, in preparing to act quickly and wisely when disasters strike.
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