UK charities launch joint fundraising appeal for Indonesia quake survivors

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UK charities are launching a joint appeal to raise money for survivors of Indonesia deadly earthquake and tsunami.

The official death toll has risen to 1,407 – but authorities believe the final figure is likely to be much higher as rescuers search remote areas.

The 7.5-magnitude quake hit Sulawesi island on Friday and was accompanied by a tsunami as high as 6m (20ft) that destroyed homes and left hundreds of thousands desperate for food and water.

Survivors have been forced to beg for handouts and loot shops.



Surianit's husband was killed in the earthquake, and her house destroyed  UK charities launch joint fundraising appeal for Indonesia quake survivors skynews surianti widow siobhan robins 4442237




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Aid taking too long to get through, says survivor

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together 14 UK aid charities in times of extreme need and members include Action Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children and the British Red Cross.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said the charities and local partners were working with Indonesian authorities “to get aid to those who urgently need it, as well as helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days”.

“There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, food, medical care and shelter,” said Mr Saeed.

:: Volcano erupts on quake-hit Indonesian island

People are having to beg for food by the road  UK charities launch joint fundraising appeal for Indonesia quake survivors skynews indonesia palu wuake 4442434
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People are having to beg for food by the road
Thousands of homes were destroyed by last Friday's quake and tsunami  UK charities launch joint fundraising appeal for Indonesia quake survivors skynews indonesia quake 4442435
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Thousands of homes were destroyed by last Friday’s quake and tsunami

“Please give generously and let’s save the survivors.”

It has set up a number – 70000 – where people can easily donate £5 by texting SKY.

:: Watch a Sky News special at 09:00: Indonesia tsunami: The aftermath

The UK government is also sending thousands of shelter kits, solar lanterns and water purifiers to the disaster zone.

Six experts have been sent to Sulawesi to help coordinate the aid effort and the government offered to send HMS Argyll from Singapore to help.



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Video:
The numbers that show the devastation

Indonesian authorities said the ship was not yet needed.

Ruined bridges, damaged roads and landslides have slowed down the rescue and aid effort, says Sky News’ Mark Stone, who is in the disaster zone.

He said that so far he had not seen “any coordinated government response” – despite the UN saying 200,000 people urgently need help.

A lack of heavy machinery to move the rubble has also caused problems, while there are safety concerns for those trying to help after around 1,200 inmates escaped from two prisons.



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Drone footage of the aftermath

Authorities have set a tentative deadline of Friday to find anyone still alive under the rubble. At that point, a week after the disaster, the chances of finding survivors is almost zero.

There has also been a call for more body bags amid fears that disease could spread as corpses decompose.

:: Donations can be made at www.dec.org.uk, on the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900; or by texting the number mentioned above.

People can also give money over the counter at any high street bank or post office.



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