Caritas delivers aid to forgotten villages after Sumatra quake
06 October 2009
Tarpaulins have been delivered by Caritas to villages yet to receive any direct aid six days after the earthquake that rocked Sumatra.
Alius and his mother are thankful for the shelter provided by Caritas but ahve lost everything
Three hours from the earthquake ravaged Padang, Caritas delivered temporary shelter to 1600 families who were unaware there were international efforts underway to assist them.
“Villagers didn’t know that people were searching for them, trying to help them” said Fabian Tritschler, a member of the Caritas Sumatran Earthquake Emergency Response Team.
“The distribution brought urgently required shelter to villagers in Lurah Ampalo where more than 70 percent of homes were destroyed” said Mr Tritschler.
This initial allocation will ultimately assist 5,500 families (approximately 27,500 people) when the distribution is complete.
“Further relief will be distributed on Friday following a plane load of relief supplies which will arrive in Padang at 11pm on Thursday night.
Alius, a 36 year old man who received one of the tarpaulins had erected the shelter within an hour of distribution, said, “All ten of my family have been sheltering under four sheets of corrugated iron. My father had a stroke and needs constant assistance. We are very thankful for the shelter but we have lost everything”.
Zainir Rajo Mulo, 63 and a descendant of Sumatran royalty, said whilst he lived in Pariman, closest point on Sumatra to the epicenter of the earthquake, the damage was far greater in this remote area than in his home city.
“I return here every day to look after my mother who is nearly 100 and this whole village is my family. The people here are in urgent need of shelter from the rains, their houses are all uninhabitable. If they didn’t receive this shelter they would soon get sick because of the rains”.
That the support came from a Catholic organization was great comfort to Zainir in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia.
“This support for our broken village from a Catholic organization is very important to us. We are all people in the world and I thank every single person who has supported us from around the world”, he said.
Mr Tritschler said “there are still more villages in Alung province to the north of where we were today that are yet to receive assistance and in the coming days we will send further assessment teams to gauge the level of relief required”.
Interviews and site visits are available. Please contact the Caritas Sumatra Earthquake Media Team based in Padang:
Caritas Germany’s Christina Grawe. Mobile : +66 8 6000 7114, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (English/German)
Caritas Australia’s Tim O’Connor. Mobile: +61 417 284 831, email: Timo@caritas.org.au
Trocaire’s Conor O’Loughlin: Mobile +62 87878 503763, email: email@example.com
CRS’ Laura Sheahen Mobile +62 878 955 421 93, email: LSheahen@gmail.com