World Vision says relief distribution underway in Indonesia quake zone

PADANG, Indonesia, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - World Vision began distributing relief goods to earthquake survivors in Indonesia this weekend, as trucks carrying emergency kits began arriving in the capital of West Sumatra, Padang, the hardest hit area from the 7.6 magnitude quake last Wednesday.

The distribution of family kits initially reached 275 families affected by the earthquake in Bungus Teluk Kabung subdistrict, about 20km away from Kota Padang. The family kits consisted of tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, sarongs, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes and soap. Another distribution of 775 emergency kits later took place in Padang Pariaman district, one of the areas worst-affected by the earthquake. As the area nearest to the epicenter, a lot of buildings in the district were destroyed by the disaster.

The seven trucks carried 1,900 emergency kits from Jakarta and 2,000 collapsible water containers have also arrived and are ready to be distributed to the affected communities. Aid workers said there are many toppled buildings and power and water services are not available. The main hospital in the area does not have enough water for patients or to clean surgical instruments. Rural areas have been hit hard with up 80 per cent of homes destroyed in some villages.

"We are planning a 90-day response to assist 10,000 families in three districts," said Canadian Amelia Merrick, Operations Director for World Vision Indonesia. "We continue to maintain coordination with the government and the other agencies and we will continue our rapid assessment together with our partners in some affected areas outside of the urban center in Padang, including Padang Pariaman."

Many people still remain trapped under the rubble. As the rescue teams continue their efforts to evacuate the victims, World Vision is preparing to care for survivors by surveying the impact of the disaster both within and outside of the urban center and rushing emergency supplies to the worst-affected areas. World Vision offices around the world are aiming to raise US$2 million to further assist in the relief efforts.

Poor people are the ones most severely impacted by the earthquake, World Vision says. They not only lose their means for earning their daily incomes but their homes are in shambles. Aminah and Novelni usually sell meals to elementary school students, but with schools ruined and no longer in session, they are without income and face the burdensome tasks of trying to make their damaged houses liveable.

The relief, development and advocacy organization is also calling on governments and rescue team leaders to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable, especially children, pregnant women, single mothers and the disabled. The humanitarian assistance should consider the special needs of these groups such as proper food for children, access to clean water, blankets, places for breast-feeding of infants, trauma healing and school tents.

The Government of Indonesia estimates that 600,000 people have been affected by the earthquake and that hundreds have died. World Vision is concerned that the death count could rise.

During the 90-day response, World Vision is planning to assist communities with survival kits for families and children, shelter kits, water containers, equipment for cleaning up the rubble, child-friendly spaces and education on preventing the spread of communicable diseases through hygiene measures.

World Vision is accepting donations to assist those affected by the crisis and also Southeast Asian countries affected by Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma. Those wishing to help can visit WorldVision.ca or call 1-800-268-5528.

    
    -  World Vision has been working in Indonesia for 50 years. The
       organization works in 700 villages spreading from Nanggroe Aceh
       Darussalam to Papua provinces. World Vision donors support more than
       90,000 children through its programs, including 25,455 children
       supported by Canadians. World Vision does not have long-term community
       development programs where sponsored children reside in the Pandang
       area.

    -  In the Philippines, World Vision is distributing relief goods to those
       affected by Typhoon Ketsana in and around Manila and to those affected
       by Typhoon Parma in Northern Luzon. The organization is aiming to
       reach 20,000 families (100,000 people) around Manila and 3,500
       families in Northern Luzon.

    -  World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
       organization dedicated to working with children, families and
       communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
       people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
    

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell), yoko_kobayashi@WorldVision.ca


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