Rusmiati and her youngest daughter were at home when a series of powerful earthquakes struck north-western Indonesia.
“My daughter and I were selling yellow rice when the earthquake struck, while my husband and my old son were still working outside of the house.
“It was so strong. I thought that the whole world was going to be destroyed. My daughter and I were stuck in the house. I was sure that we would end up dead.
“I was very badly shaken and couldn’t stand up. Everything around me was shaking”, says Rusmiati, recalling the traumatic events of 28 September 2018.
One of the quakes, a 7.5 magnitude tremor, triggered a tsunami. Huge waves struck Palu city and other settlements, sweeping away homes and buildings. And soil liquefaction – a rare event in which the ground flows like liquid – submerged many buildings in mudflows.
Rusmiati witnessed the effects of this devastating second quake. It had destroyed half of Lolu village, damaging nearly every home in the village, and killing at least 26 villagers.
It also swept away their livelihoods, displaced thousands of villagers and crippled essential services.
Rusmiati, alongside her family and others members of the village, spent two weeks sleeping in the open under tarpaulin. They spent a further six months living in tents while their home was restored.