Resilience to disaster

Indonesia’s double disaster exposes earthquake lessons not learned

A man salvages wood from the ruins of a house in the Petobo neighborhood which was hit by an earthquake and liquefaction in Palu, Indonesia. Credit: Darren Whiteside/Reuters

The young man standing atop a mound of grey mud and debris on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, waiting for an excavator he hoped would dig out the bodies of his parents, voiced the exasperation many feel in his earthquake-plagued country.

“This is something that happens all the time in Indonesia. Why aren’t we getting better at handling it?” Bachtiar cried as the machine clanked through the ruins of someone’s kitchen in the city of Palu.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 28 triggered a tsunami and extensive soil liquefaction, a phenomenon that turns soft soil into a seething mire, killing 2,073 people, according to the latest official estimate. Up to 5,000 more may be missing…


More Photos of the Incredible Devastation Left by Hurricane Michael

Authorities are now saying at least 18 deaths have been caused by Hurricane Michael across four states. Michael crashed into the Florida Panhandle on October 10 as a powerful Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 155 mph. One of the hardest-hit towns was Florida’s Mexico Beach, southeast of Panama City, where entire neighborhoods appear to have been erased by the ferocious winds—the debris of the structures scattered far inland among boats and shattered trees. Below, recent photographs from Mexico Beach, Panama City, and neighboring towns, as the full extent of the damage wrought by Michael becomes clearer…


Resilience to disaster

Disasters lead to loss of lives, property and assets for the affected. Women, children, the poor, the elderly and those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is being celebrated across the globe today, helps shine a light on the importance of improving disaster preparedness at every level by strengthening communities and households to be resilient to disasters.

This day has a special relevance to Pakistan. A National Resilience Day event was held on October 8 to mark the anniversary of the deadly 2005 Kashmir earthquake while celebrating the work of all those who have helped make Pakistan better prepared for disasters….


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