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SA rescue team gear up for Indonesia disaster relief trip

Last Friday a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of the Sulawesi Island causing extensive soil liquefaction that turns ground into liquid, sinking buildings and pulling victims under.

The 25 member team from the Gift of the Givers is getting ready to head to the airport. The disaster relief organisation is sending in aid after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of the Sulawesi island. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

BRAMLEY - A search and rescue team from South Africa is loading trucks filled with food and medical supplies ahead of the Gift of the Givers' disaster relief trip to Indonesia.

Last Friday, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of the Sulawesi Island causing extensive soil liquefaction that turns ground into liquid, sinking buildings and pulling victims under.

The official death toll stands at over 1,400, however, authorities are warning the number is likely to rise.

Just over a dozen volunteers are working through Palu on Wednesday afternoon, as a loaded truck filled with supplies bound for Indonesia.

Gift of the Givers’ team leader Ahmed Bham says the foundation will be assisting with search and rescue operations armed with food and medical supplies.

“We are currently taking about 25 emergency personnel which consists of search and rescue advance life support paramedics and some medical team contingents.”

Bham says the team will also do an assessment of needs upon arrival to determine whether a second set of supplies and resources will be in need.

"We’re taking quite minimum aid, but its about $100,000 of aid. Of our equipment that is going, that’s about R5 million, which is specialised equipment to help look for people under rubble and stuff.

The team will leave on Wednesday night.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)