International aid is flowing into earthquake and tsunami stricken Indonesian island of Sulawesi with Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivering generators and a water purification system on behalf of the French government.
At least 2,045 people have been confirmed dead and as many as 5,000 others are believed to be missing after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the coast of one of the Southeast Asian archipelago’s largest islands on 28 September.
The official search for casualties began winding down on Thursday, as authorities prioritise support for the living nearly two weeks after the disaster. Authorities said this week there is little chance of finding anyone alive, and any bodies unearthed will likely be decayed beyond identification. Public health is also a concern, as bodies entombed under mud and debris could carry disease.
The flight was performed by one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ modernised IL-76TD-90VD freighters from Châlon Vatry Airport in France to the Indonesian city of Balikpapan on request of the Crisis Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Balikpapan is the staging area for incoming international assistance into Palu and the surrounding. Following their arrival in Indonesia, the generators and water purification system – weighing 29 tonnes in total – will be transported to the worst-affected areas. The equipment will provide much-needed electricity and clean water for the local population.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines continues to maintain its strategic focus on supporting humanitarian missions across the globe, it said. With more than 28 years of experience in participating in international relief programmes, the airline can offer an immediate response, saving vital time in such critical situations. At the beginning of September, Volga-Dnepr’s expertise was also called upon to deliver 64 tonnes of food supplies and bottled water to Guam Island to help victims of Typhoon Mangkhut.
Since the 1990s, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been responding to humanitarian and relief calls all over the world. Its experienced and qualified specialists have been able to provide timely and much-needed support to the victims of some of the most devastating disasters of the 21st century, including hurricanes Katrina and Irma in the USA, the Chaiten volcano eruption in Chile, earthquakes in Haiti, Turkey, India, Japan and China and other numerous natural catastrophes around the world.
Volga-Dnepr highlighs that its team understands that time matters in these particular situations and provides the most effective logistics solutions for all types of cargo, from heavy machinery and helicopters for rescue operations to mobile hospitals, large volumes of water purification equipment, tents, and temperature-sensitive goods such as food supplies and pharmaceuticals.
“Our unique fleet of 12 giant An-124-100 freighters and five modernised Il-76TD-90VD give us numerous possibilities while organising charters for humanitarian missions,” says Konstantin Vekshin, executive president Cargo Charter Operations, Volga-Dnepr.
“These aircraft are self-sufficient in remote locations or where local infrastructure has been damaged, provide both nose and rear ramp loading capabilities, and meet all ICAO requirements for international flight operations in compliance with the latest noise and emissions standards.
“With its expertise and experience in operating charter flights, Volga-Dnepr is always among the first responders to support victims of natural disasters, allowing emergency relief management agencies and governmental organisations all over the world to deliver critically-needed cargo and supplies in what is always a significant race against time,” Vekshin adds.