As you may have heard, Indonesia was struck by another earthquake last week. This time, the epicentre was near the island of Sulawesi. In addition to the strong quake, a devastating tsunami hit Palu Bay. Currently, there are over 1,000 fatalities reported.
Our thoughts go out to the many victims of this disaster and especially to one of our colleagues: Anthonius Gunawan Agung was was the only person left in the control tower of Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu when the magnitude-7.5 quake struck the coastal city on Friday. He remained behind to ensure a flight that was about to take off could do so safely. The decision to stay cost him his life, but potentially saved hundreds of others. Agung was born in 1996 in Abepura - Papua. He graduated from the Aviation Training Centre in Makassar on 2017. He was working at AiNav Indoneaia since June 2018. He was still single and would turn 22 later this month.
Via our Indonesian member association, IFATCA has reached out to the family: we've sent a wreath and have made a donation towards the costs of the service. We are evaluating whether we can help in any other way. In the mean time, we would encourage everyone to consider donating to the relief efforts for Indonesia: over the past months, different parts of the country have been hit by major earthquakes and any help is welcome. A number of non-government organisations have set up fund raisers to collect money towards the relief efforts. Please look in your country for such actions and consider donating - every little bit helps.
On behalf of the IFATCA Executive Board and all our Federation's members, we again extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We hope they find some comfort in remembering his bravery and commitment to our profession. May he rest in peace.
Lastly, we salute our colleagues in Palu, who in very difficult circumstances continue to provide air traffic control services. In doing so, they're a vital link in the crucial relief efforts for the area.