Recovering after the earthquakes in Indonesia

Erti and her family are slowly recovering after the 2018 earthquakes destroyed their home

Erti lives with her husband, Jonathan, their two children, and her two-year-old granddaughter Felicia in a small village in Indonesia.  

When the 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island on 28 September 2018, 146 houses in Erti’s village were destroyed – including Erti’s home.

A quake that shook Erti


It was late afternoon when the earthquake shook the village. At the time, Erti was having a shower, unaware of what was going to happen next.

The quake took her by surprise, and she watched in horror as her bathroom wall collapsed in front of her. But it was her only safe exit out of the house.

I was in the shower, there was no time to get dressed, so I just ran.

Learn more about the 2018 Indonesia earthquakes.

Woman holding a child in Indonesia

On her way out, Erti broke a rib, but her first thought was her family’s safety.

Fortunately, the rest of the family were sitting outside at the time of the earthquake and had all safely made it to the roadside next to their house.

I was panicking. As soon as I got out I tried to find my daughter and granddaughter.

Keeping the family safe


Family in front of a ShelterBox tent

That night, the family joined the rest of the community and slept outside a school.

They all grouped together and made a temporary shelter out of tarpaulin, to be able to sleep safely following the horror of the powerful earthquake.

They had no choice but to stay in this temporary shelter for a whole month until they received vital ShelterBox aid.

We had nothing, only what we were wearing.

A long way to recovery


We provided Erti and her family with a sturdy ShelterBox tent, which they set up on the land where their house once stood.

The tent was their home whilst they rebuilt their home.

It was a place to continue normal family life – a private place to call their own where they could eat, sleep and be together as a family.

The tent is very helpful, we feel safe inside. We are healing, life is slowly getting better, but we are still frightened because there are more aftershocks.

Woman working with cocoa

ShelterBox in Indonesia


We were able to reach the family with help from the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), and our partner Rotary.

The BNPB not only supported ShelterBox, but they also provided a helicopter to transport ShelterBox tents, mosquito nets, water filters, and water carriers to villages in the Lindu region of central Sulawesi. This area was still inaccessible by road one month after the earthquake.

Right now, there are many people all around the world who, just like Erti, have lost everything. You can donate today and allow families to start their journey to recovery. Will you support our work today? 

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