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BALIKPAPAN, Indonesia: October 07, 2018. Turkey and Britain have responded to requests from Indonesia for specific aid following the earthquake and tsunami on September 28 that has so far claimed an estimated 1,600 lives and severely injured a further 2,500.

At the behest of the Turkish Red Crescent and Indonesian government, the two NATO members have delivered humanitarian aid by C130 Hercules and A400M Atlas aircraft to the international relief centre at Balikpapan, a port city on the island of Borneo.

Indo aid Turkey Armed ForcesAccording to UN and governmental agencies, over 65,000 homes have been damaged leaving 330,000 people without shelter and 71,000 people displaced.

In addition, due to the damage to infrastructure, roads and bridges in certain areas are reported to be no longer accessible. Early assessments also indicate that survivors have no access to running water or electricity.

Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) teams were some of the first responders deployed to central Sulawesi covering the regions of Donggala, Palu, Parigi, Kasimbar and Tobolf,

The TRC has now delivered 30 tons of humanitarian aid consisting of 200 family tents, 200 family hygiene kits, 200 baby Kits, 200 Kitchen sets, 2,000 sleeping bags, 2,000 blankets and 5,000 boxes of medicines.

The first RAF Atlas aircraft carried over 20 tons of aid from Britain - including 1,280 shelter kits and 288 hygiene kits - as part of £6 million pledged by the UK Department for International Development and members of the British public.

The shipment also included a forklift and conveyor belt, trucks and a lighting tower generator to assist in the fast turnaround of aid flights at Balikpapan Airport.

On October 04 Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) responded to a request from the Indonesian government to deploy two of its Disaster Response Teams (DRT) to provide logistics support in collaboration with local staff and humanitarian organizations.

Indo 1 aid UKOne team is located at Balikpapan Airport (left) and the other at a distribution centre close to the airport to handle and store relief goods.

“The situation in Palu is still dire with power outages, water shortages and increasing reported incidents of looting,” explained Carl Schelfhaut, GoHelp manager Asia Pacific for DPDHL. “Due to a collapse of the tower at Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport, only very small propeller aircraft and military airplanes can land. That is why Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport in Balikpapan is being set up as the main humanitarian relief hub where sourcing and sorting of incoming relief goods will take place.

“With the airport in Palu ready to receive goods, the Indonesia National Armed Forces, along with selected foreign forces from countries like Australia, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore, are ferrying C-130 and C-17 aircraft from Balikpapan to Palu. These aircraft will serve the dual purpose of transporting aid to Palu and then returning with evacuees. The DRT will be on-site in both locations to assist with ground handling,” he added.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says a total of 1.5 million people have been affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and is requesting US$50.5 million in aid from donors. This latest disaster follows a series of earthquakes in August that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok where more than 340,000 people remain displaced.

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