In the aftermath of a powerful earthquake that flattened entire villages and a tsunami hit this coastal region on the island of Sulawesi, the Indonesian government is shifting its attention to the mammoth task of cleaning up and rebuilding. The twin disasters have caused as estimated $700 million in damage and taken over 2,0000 so far. [Expected to climb to 7000!] Officials say that rebuilding and reconstructing the villages could take months, as engineers and scientists work to guarantee that the new cities will be better able to withstand the frequent quakes. Read about liquefaction
For over 70,000 now homeless survivors, and the many more who have lost loved ones, have a more urgent and daunting task of contemplating what to do next.
Some have crowded the crippled airport looking for coveted spots on flights out of the city. Others have joined caravans of motorbikes and cars streaming south to larger cities.
Most, however, remain scattered at makeshift camps pitched on any patch of open space. Those whose houses have not been destroyed say they are too afraid to return inside, fearful that the weakened structures could collapse, especially if there is a strong aftershock.
Many know, too, that they will be dependent on aids and handouts for weeks to come.