Sumatra quake survivors need food, water, medical help and shelter
02 October 2009
Caritas teams in Sumatra say that with every hour a picture is emerging of greater destruction and loss of lives following an earthquake off the coast of the Indonesia.
Villagers stand amongst the rubble of destroyed houses in the village of Lima Koto in the outskirts of Padang, Indonesia's West Sumatra province, October 2, 2009.
Caritas Communications Officer Christina Grawe said from the quake-hit main city of Padang, “Caritas teams have visited the villages and say the needs are much worse than in the city. People need food, water, tents and tools to rebuild makeshift shelter. The death toll isn’t realistic as it is just the people who have been recovered and taken to the hospital and officially registered. We have no idea of how many people have died outside Padang.
“The problems in providing relief are logistical as a lack of electricity and mobile network coverage makes it difficult to coordinate. Many government buildings have been destroyed making it difficult for them to operate Petrol stations aren’t able to function without electricity so there is a shortage of gas to transport aid to the most needed areas. Over the next day, we’ll be working out how to get aid to the outlying areas.”
Teams from the local Caritas in Padang helped pull survivors and the dead from the rubble in the hours and days after the 7.6-magnitude quake.
Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton is heading to Padang to be part of the international and Indonesia team leading the response . He said, “Caritas teams are carrying out assessments on the ground. The immediate needs being food, shelter, access to clean water, medical help for the injured and temporary shelter.”
Caritas agencies from around the world have already pledged US$ 3,6 million (Euros 2,5 million) to disasters in Asia and the Pacific this week.
Shelter is a key concern. Many buildings in Padang have been damaged, while in the surrounding areas the situation is in places worse. Caritas is flying in 700 tents to help protect against monsoon rains with more to follow. Working with church partners and other relief agencies, Caritas staff are getting tarpaulins, plastic mats and other items to those who have lost their homes.
Caritas Sumatra Earthquake Media Team based in Padang:
Caritas Germany’s Christina Grawe. Mobile : +66 8 6000 7114 email: email@example.com (Now in Padang) (English/German)
Caritas Australia’s Tim O’Connor. Mobile: +61 417 284 831. Timo@caritas.org.au
Trocaire’s Conor O’Loughlin: Mobile +62 87878 503763 firstname.lastname@example.org
CRS’ Laura Sheahen Mobile +62 878 955 421 93 LSheahen@gmail.com