Padang bad, Pariaman worse after Indonesia quake
01 October 2009
Caritas is assessing the needs of survivors in the worst hit zones in Indonesia following a devastating earthquake off the coast of Western Sumatra.
A local Caritas Emergency Response Team in Padang say the level of destruction is vast, estimating about 50 percent of buildings have been damaged by the 7.6-magnitude quake.. Fr. Agustinus Mudjihartono is helping Caritas in Padang. He says that while the situation in Padang for survivors is critical, the situation 50km north in the town of Pariaman is much worse. Pariaman is home to about 80,000 residents and means “safe haven” in Indonesian. Fr. Mudjihartono says the entire town has been destroyed by the quake.
Caritas Indonesia (known locally as Karina) is rushing a team of humanitarian staff to support relief efforts in Padang supported by international staff.
Caritas Indonesia Director Fr. Sigit Pramudji said, “There are many people still trapped under rumble in Padang. One of our concerns is that there are only three hospitals, and two have been badly damaged in the tremor. Other challenges are getting access to Padang and poor communications.
“We fear that the situation in Padang will be bad, but things may be much worse in Pariaman town.
“A Caritas team will assess the immediate needs of the people, which we expect to be food and other aid items such as blankets and cooking equipment, medical help, clean water, and shelter.”
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