Virginia Tech students help Indonesian earthquake victims

Indonesian Student Association members across the country raising money

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Relief and aid continue to pour into Indonesia a week after an earthquake and tsunami leveled buildings and killed hundreds on one island.

People from across the world, including students at Virginia Tech, are doing what they can to help.

"I saw the pictures and everything," said Reza Birowo, a senior and president of PERMIAS, the Indonesian Student Association at Virginia Tech. "It was terrible."

Last week's 7.5-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami, hitting the city of Palu and surrounding areas hardest.

It didn't impact Birowo's hometown in Java, but it left more than 1,400 people dead and tens of thousands of people homeless. Many people are still missing.

Birowo said Virginia Tech's PERMIAS chapter and chapters across the country have been working to support earthquake recovery and relief efforts for the island of Sulawesi.

"Our group and the national chapter itself, we decided to open a GoFundMe account, and we have raised almost $12,000 in the past week," Birowo said.

He said the road to recovery will be a long one because the disaster destroyed much of the area's infrastructure, but he knows the communities there have the strength to get through this.

"We are all here for you. Whatever happened to you guys, we'll be there for you," Birowo said.

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