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Indonesia Earthquake Experiences

11th October, 2018

Faraz Yousufzai is part of the Islamic Help team in Indonesia which is providing emergency aid to thousands of families affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck in late September 2018.

These are a couple of his blogs with survivors recalling their experiences in the twin disaster. 

Saleena the survivor

When the big earthquake hit at maghrib time, Saleena was cooking at her stall by the beach. Terrified as the ground shook up and down, she stumbled towards the bridge across the way.

From there she watched in horror as a gigantic wave, about 10m high, started on the horizon and made its way at terrifying speed and in mere moments towards her and the hundreds of families upon the shore.

She was lucky enough to be offered a car to escape in with her five-year-old daughter, and they made it out alive. She still does not know the whereabouts of many of her family and friends. 

She said that she keeps remembering and reliving the terrifying moments of the earthquake and tsunami. It keeps her up at night and she feels constantly fearful. This is what is called trauma.

Now? Saleena thanks God for saving her and is now helping out at one of the refugee centres by doing what she does best: cooking delicious, local, hot fresh food.

God bless her and all the survivors of this disaster. Please keep supporting Saleena and the thousands of survivors trying to find their way through these dark days.

Friends in Pain

Friends in pain. Sharing grief. A brother lost. Life destroyed. Refugees in their own country. Searching for bodies and remnants.

“It was like a tumble dryer. We were thrown left, right, up and down. We ran for our lives. But our brother and uncle didn’t make it. The ground vanished under their feet. They didn’t make it."

ACT (Indonesian charity) volunteer Noor Hidayat was born here. He was living in Jakarta when it happened. He grew up here. He played here. It’s heart-breaking for him. He said he was speechless.

“What now for Palu? Everything is destroyed. We were building our tourism and infrastructure. Life was good. What now?”

Islamic Help’s Shaukat Lal, who is in Indonesia for our emergency aid effort, gave him hope. Referring to the rebuilding after the 2004 tsunami that struck Aceh in Indonesia and claimed more than 220,000 lives, he said: “Remember Aceh? Insha’Allah, you will rise from this and be stronger and better than ever before.”

You can support Faraz's fundraising effort for Indonesia at

Donate to our Indonesia Emergency Appeal by calling 0121 446 5682 or here.