News

    US Helicopters Deliver Supplies to Tsunami Victims in Aceh

    Multimedia

    Audio

    A combined U.S. civilian and military aid effort in the tsunami-ravaged region of Asia moved into high gear Monday. Helicopters from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln delivered, and in some cases air dropped, supplies in remote parts of Indonesia's Aceh province.

    It took U.S. Navy vessels several days to reach the affected area. But a five-ship task force led by the carrier Abraham Lincoln is now in position off the battered western coastline of Sumatra, which sustained perhaps the worst damage of all from the December 26 earthquake and tsunami.

    At a news briefing U.S. Marine Brigadier General John Allen, Asia-Pacific director of the Pentagon's International Security Affairs Bureau, said helicopters from the task force are delivering supplies to remote parts of Aceh province that had not been reached by aid workers thus far.

    He described scenes of desperation in the impromptu landing and drop zones, and said a challenge for Navy crewmen has been to avoid injuring civilians who had gone without help for an entire week.

    "In some of these areas, there have been days with no contact and no relief," said General Allen. "So there will sometimes appear to be desperation as these helicopters are heard, as they're approaching the L-Z's, the landing zones, and as they're trying to get into the landing zones. And we recognize that, and we will operate that equipment, we will operate those aircraft in every way possible so that there can be no injury to those people."

    General Allen said a second Navy task force led by the amphibious assault ship the Bonhomme Richard had entered the Indian Ocean Monday to join in operations off Sumatra. Later in the week that Navy group, carrying 24 helicopters is to move to the eastern coast of Sri Lanka.

    General Allen said the biggest cargo planes flown by the U.S. Air Force, C-5 and C-17 aircraft, are delivering supplies to an operations hub at Utapao air based in Thailand.

    He said American aircraft had flown in about a half-million kilograms of supplies in one of the largest U.S. military missions in the region since the Vietnam war.

    On the civilian side, U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator James Kunder said 135 officials of the aid agency are now in affected areas, assessing how best to allocate the $350 million in earthquake and tsunami aid pledged by the Bush administration.

    Mr. Kunder said a major thrust of the U.S. effort will be to underwrite local clean-up projects. He said the approach, being started with a $10 million program in Sri Lanka, will help revive ruined local economies and help jobless and dislocated people deal with the trauma of the disaster.

    "The psycho-social impact of this crisis is grave. People are still disoriented, still stunned by the magnitude of the crisis. And based on our experience in previous crises of this magnitude, it is important to get people back to work," said Mr. Kunder. "And we hope these cash-for work programs will begin to get people back to work and engaged in the clean-up process so they can begin the psycho-social process of restoring their lives."

    Mr. Kunder said U.S. relief operations were now underway in all Asian countries affected by the crisis with the exception of Burma, where the government has made no disaster declaration and has not given American or other international assessment teams access to coastal areas.

    Geologists say computer modeling of the earthquake and tsunamis suggests that Burma's southern coast should have been hit as hard as southern Thailand, where nearly 5,000 people are believed to have been killed.

    But Burma's reclusive military government has reported only 53 people killed along that country's 2,500 kilometers of Indian Ocean coastline.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.