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A makeshift hospital treats survivors in Padang following the earthquake. Credits: James Alcock/Caritas

A makeshift hospital treats survivors in Padang following the earthquake.
Credits: James Alcock/Caritas

“I am lucky,” said Elma, while getting treatment with her daughter in a medical tent supported by Caritas. “My family and I – we are alive.” When a violent earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra near the city of Padang on September 30, Elma was at home with her elderly mother.

“I screamed for my children because I didn’t know where they were. My daughter Maisie almost collapsed with fear outside my house,” she said.

The earthquake left over 1,100 people dead and hundreds of thousands in need of help to rebuild their homes and lives.

The Caritas initial response was rapid: teams went immediately to assess the damage, then members sent additional staff, tents, tarpaulins and food. Caritas helped 110,000 people with shelter, 43,000 with food, and 105,000 people with access to clean water in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.