UN Chief Guterres Tours Disaster-Hit Indonesia as World Bank Pledges Aid
United Nations SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres has visited the Indonesian city of Palu to assess the impact of the earthquake and tsunami, as the World Bank announced US$5m (FJ$10.80m) in financial aid for reconstruction, which authorities say could take two years. Mr Guterres’ visit on Friday came as Palu marked the two-week anniversary of the disaster with a mass prayer service attended by thousands of survivors.
The UN chief and Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla toured one of the worst-hit areas and spoke with survivors being treated at an outdoor tent hospital and evacuation centre, praising their “resilience” amid the devastation. “We are with the people of Indonesia and Sulawesi,” Mr Guterres said after surveying the devastation at Balaroa, a hard-hit neighbourhood in Palu.
“The UN is with you to support government-led rescue and relief efforts,” Mr Guterres posted on his Twitter account, accompanied by a photograph of broken roads and destroyed houses.
Entire villages were sucked into the earth at Balaroa when soil turned to mush under the force of the quake.