Indonesia quake levels villages
- Indonesia quake levels villages (Reuters)
3 October 2009
Eight people were believed to be still alive in the ruins of a hotel on Saturday, nearly three days after a strong quake hit Indonesia's port city of Padang.
In most places only bodies were found by rescue teams combing through collapsed buildings for thousands of people still feared trapped beneath the wreckage. The colossal damage that destroyed buildings and roads was hampering the aid effort.
In remoter areas outside Padang the full scale of the disaster was only starting to become clear, with TV footage showing villages obliterated by landslides, and survivors drinking coconut water after their drinking sources were contaminated.
In Padang, eight people were believed to be trapped under the rubble of the ruined Dutch-colonial era Ambacang Hotel. International rescue teams, including sniffer dogs from Japan and Swiss team, were helping in the effort.
"We think there are eight people alive in there. One sent an SMS to a relative in a village, who got the text at 3 p.m. yesterday," said Arkamelvi Karmani, an army officer involved in the rescue operation at the site of the hotel.
The message called for help and implored rescuers: "Be careful that the excavator doesn't cause the building to collapse on us."
Those trapped were believed to be on the 6th floor. Rescuers were building a tunnel into the rubble to try to reach them.
"We think there are 40 bodies left in the hotel," Karmani said. A seminar organised by an insurance company was taking place there when the 7.6 magnitude quake hit on Wednesday.
The quake from one of the world's most active seismic fault lines along the Pacific "rim of of fire" struck with a force that shook buildings hundreds of kilometres away in Singapore and Malaysia.
Fresh aid supplies were due to arrive at Jakarta's main airport for transfer to the disaster area, 915 km (570 miles) northwest of the capital on the island of Sumatra. Aid was also being shipped from the port of Tanjung Priok in the capital.
Testos, an Indonesian Red Cross worker at an aid station in central Padang, said they now had around half what was needed.
"We also need drinking water and clothes because many peoples clothes were burnt in fires," he said. "We also need medicines to stop infection."
The United Nations estimated more than 1,000 had been killed in and around Padang, a city of 900,000. Indonesia's disaster management agency put the toll of confirmed dead and missing so far at 806.
Masks, Sniffer Dogs
Rescue teams, many wearing masks to cover the smell of bodies as they worked in the tropical heat, were fanning out from Padang to some of the worst-hit surrounding areas.
TV footage from Pariaman, closer to the quake's epicentre, showed a whole hillside where several villages were located had collapsed, leaving just barren red earth and the odd fallen tree.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, touring the disaster area on Friday, said $10 million in relief would be quickly deployed.
"The 100 billion rupiah fund must flow, no more red tape. This is an emergency, the race is important," Yudhoyono said.
Indonesia's health minister said the destruction did not appear to be as extensive as first feared, but said the number killed could still number in the low thousands.
"I predict the number will not reach 4,000," Siti Fadillah Supari was quoted as saying by news website detik.com.
The three provinces affected by Wednesday's disaster, and a second quake inland on Thursday, are major producers of rubber, palm oil, coal and other commodities, although together they accounted for less than 3 percent of Indonesia's overall GDP, according to a report by Bank Danamon in Jakarta.
Aid had arrived from 14 countries, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said, and specialist rescue teams from countries including Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea had arrived or were en route.
More than 600 missing in Indonesia landslides (AFP)
3 October 2009
PMPADANG, Indonesia More than 600 people are missing in landslides that hit villages northwest of the quake-hit Indonesian city of Padang, a disaster official said on Saturday.
`More or less, there are 600 missing. We've only found three dead,' local health ministry crisis centre chief Jasmarizal told AFP of the landslides, which occurred after Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude quake on Sumatra island.
Pacific Earthquake Emergency
Islamic Relief teams have already been deployed and will be assessing the needs of victims after multiple earthquakes rocked the Pacific Rim region over the past few days.
On September 29, an 8.3 magnitude quake struck Samoa, generating waves as high as 15ft in some areas and leaving at least 149 people dead and tens of thousands in need.
The Samoan Prime Minister told the BBC "the devastation caused was complete."
The very next day, at least another 2,000 people were badly injured and another 528 killed after a pair of earthquakes, the first a 7.6 magnitude and the second a 6.2 magnitude, struck off the coast of Padang in Indonesia, according to Indonesian national news figures.
Some news stations are reporting casualties as high as 1,000 people.
There are reports of widespread destruction to buildings, roads and bridges; several subsequent landslides; and fires have been reported around Padang city, including one which caused severe damage to the local market.
Many victims are in desperate need of medical attention and humanitarian aid.
You can make a difference! Donate today to support Islamic Relief's efforts.
Islamic Relief's Response
Islamic Relief USA has launched an emergency fundraising appeal in response and is teaming with local organizations to maximize the reach of concerned American communities.
Dubbing the appeal the "Pacific Earthquake Emergency," Islamic Relief USA will be aiding victims in both American Samoa and Indonesia.
Concerned Americans are urged to donate to Islamic Relief USA's "Natural Disasters Fund," by visiting Islamic Relief USA's website (www.IslamicReliefUSA.org) or calling (888) 479 - 4968.
In American Samoa, Islamic Relief is teaming with partner organizations in the field to distribute aid in an efficient and effective manner.
With many development projects and more than 80 staff members already in Indonesia, Islamic Relief plans to support 2,000 households in the next few days and has already deployed an emergency team by road that is scheduled to arrive in one of the most affected regions, Padang, tomorrow.
Islamic Relief is also in constant contact with United Nations agencies, and members of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene cluster. Islamic Relief is currently preparing to provide the following aid from the stocks available:
-One water purifier machine to produce 5,000 liters per hour
-7 vehicles; 30 motorcycles
You can help support a displaced family with food and shelter. Please donate today.
Islamic Relief in the Pacific Rim
This is not the first time Islamic Relief responds to an emergency in Indonesia.
In 2006, Islamic Relief responded again to the Java earthquake, distributing necessary food items to 17 sub-districts in just four hours after the quake hit.
Islamic Relief began working in Indonesia in 2000 and registered its field office there in 2003 to implement development projects. In 2004, Islamic Relief spearheaded a large-scale emergency response to the devastating tsunami, distributing food, tents and hygiene supplies to hundreds of survivors.
In 2008 and 2009, Islamic Relief Indonesia implemented a water and sanitation project in Padang District drilling 22 wells and training local community members in water supply systems.
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