News / Asia

Indonesia Responds to Dual Natural Disasters

An elderly woman at a temporary shelter for people displaced by Mount Merapi eruption in Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 27 Oct 2010
An elderly woman at a temporary shelter for people displaced by Mount Merapi eruption in Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 27 Oct 2010

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will head to western Sumatra Thursday to support recovery efforts from a tsunami that killed more than 150 people, and an erupting volcano that left at least 25 dead. The president cut short his trip to Vietnam for a regional summit after the disasters struck.

Indonesia on Wednesday battled to recover from the disasters that hit the sprawling island nation within 24 hours of one another.

A tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake slammed into the Mentawai Island chain in western Indonesia late Monday, killing scores. And in Central Java, Mount Merapi, the country's most active volcano, began spewing searing ash and debris late Tuesday.

Rough seas have hampered aid from reaching the Mentawais, which are about 200 kilometers off the coast of Sumatra. That island has experienced increasingly frequent seismic activity in recent years. A devastating earthquake in Padang city last September prompted the government to improve its rapid response and early warning systems.



Officials say the problem this time is access. Wednesday evening many relief groups were still waiting to leave for the islands, which can be reached only by boat or small aircraft.

Jimmy Nadapdap, who is coordinating the effort for international aid agency World Vision, says, "We are ready in terms of human resources to help. We have stock in our warehouse in Jakarta, as well as in Padang, just to be able to send a very quick non-food items or baby kit support, or pure water purification."

The national government has deployed ships carrying 16 tons of food, clothing and medicine, and officials say more aid workers will arrive in the coming days.

Private organizations are also lending a hand, including surfer-supported groups such as Last Mile Operations.

Director Matt George assisted with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people. He says, "Any captain with a boat, any surf charter have put away their surf boards and are running around buying up foodstuffs, loading up their boats and helping anyway they can."

Relief efforts are also being mobilized to aid victims of Mount Merapi's eruption.

Aid workers there say rain on Wednesday provided welcome relief from the smoke and ash pouring off the mountain. They say face masks and drinking water are in immediate need. Around 40,000 people are seeking shelter as the government focuses on evacuations efforts.

Officials upgraded Merapi's activity status to its highest level Monday. But many people living on the volcano ignored the calls to evacuate.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire - stretching from Alaska to South America, across to Indonesia and north to Japan. The vast area is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

No new eruptions have occurred since Tuesday evening, when a series of blasts sent hot gas and debris streaming down the mountain. Scientists continue to monitor Merapi's activity and have not dismissed the possibility of an even larger explosion.


You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid