Churches respond immediately to Indonesia earthquake

By staff writers
May 27, 2006

Churches respond immediately to Indonesia earthquake

-27/05/06

Members of Action of Churches Together (a Protestant and Orthodox-based international ecumenical coalition) and Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic humanitarian agency, are among the first to respond to the Indonesian earthquake which has killed 3,000 people and injured and displaced many thousands.

The quake, measuring at a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale, struck near the city of Yogyakarta, some 250 miles east of Jakarta.

Hotels and buildings in the area collapsed. Roads and bridges have been obstructed, making it difficult to transport injured people. Hospitals were overwhelmed. Most phone lines remain down.

The quake also cracked the runway in Yogyakarta's airport, and the airport is likely be closed until tomorrow.

The earthquake's epicentre was close to Mount Merapi, which has been rumbling for weeks. There was no danger of a tsunami, though rumours of one sent thousands of people fleeing to higher ground.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Duncan MacLaren, said: ìLocal churches and church buildings are already housing affected people and we have staff from our Caritas in Indonesia as well as from Caritas members of Netherlands, Germany and USA in the area.î

He continued: ìThe seven Catholic hospitals in the Province have opened their doors and we are preparing to help as much as we can.î

Assistance teams of doctors and nurses from the Catholic hospitals are visiting the destroyed villages in the five affected regions and are providing medical assistance to the injured and traumatised.

Action by Churches Together (ACT) has reported that it was immediately in contact with local staff and with local partners.

Church World Service (CWS), the US equivalent of the UKís Christian Aid, along with other ACT members, has sent representatives to the affected areas. CWS is assessing needs and preparing to distribute emergency relief supplies.

Caritas agencies had pre-positioned resources in Central Java, in the event of the displacement of people living in the surrounds of the erupting volcano of Mount Merapi.

The assessment of needs by Caritas following the Yogyakarta earthquake is in progress and will be coordinated with the local regional authorities, says the agency.

[Also on Ekklesia: Churches manage to ship supplies to earthquake zone; Tsunami: justice as well as relief needed, say Christians; Rebuilding in Indonesia a year on from the tsunami; Earthquake has increased fears say Christian workers; Imposition of Shariah on non-Muslims proposed in Aceh 27/05/06; Muslims offer to guard Christian churches in Indonesia; BBC to examine beheadings of Christian schoolgirls; Indonesian president in call for religious tolerance; Indonesian Muslims say violence is sin and heresy; Indonesian Christians in fear after attacks and beheadings; Catholic agency arranging aid to earthquake zone; Church agency condemns Indonesian human rights decision]

Churches respond immediately to Indonesia earthquake

-27/05/06

Members of Action of Churches Together (a Protestant and Orthodox-based international ecumenical coalition) and Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic humanitarian agency, are among the first to respond to the Indonesian earthquake which has killed 3,000 people and injured and displaced many thousands.

The quake, measuring at a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale, struck near the city of Yogyakarta, some 250 miles east of Jakarta.

Hotels and buildings in the area collapsed. Roads and bridges have been obstructed, making it difficult to transport injured people. Hospitals were overwhelmed. Most phone lines remain down.

The quake also cracked the runway in Yogyakarta's airport, and the airport is likely be closed until tomorrow.

The earthquake's epicentre was close to Mount Merapi, which has been rumbling for weeks. There was no danger of a tsunami, though rumours of one sent thousands of people fleeing to higher ground.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Duncan MacLaren, said: ìLocal churches and church buildings are already housing affected people and we have staff from our Caritas in Indonesia as well as from Caritas members of Netherlands, Germany and USA in the area.î

He continued: ìThe seven Catholic hospitals in the Province have opened their doors and we are preparing to help as much as we can.î

Assistance teams of doctors and nurses from the Catholic hospitals are visiting the destroyed villages in the five affected regions and are providing medical assistance to the injured and traumatised.

Action by Churches Together (ACT) has reported that it was immediately in contact with local staff and with local partners.

Church World Service (CWS), the US equivalent of the UKís Christian Aid, along with other ACT members, has sent representatives to the affected areas. CWS is assessing needs and preparing to distribute emergency relief supplies.

Caritas agencies had pre-positioned resources in Central Java, in the event of the displacement of people living in the surrounds of the erupting volcano of Mount Merapi.

The assessment of needs by Caritas following the Yogyakarta earthquake is in progress and will be coordinated with the local regional authorities, says the agency.

[Also on Ekklesia: Churches manage to ship supplies to earthquake zone; Tsunami: justice as well as relief needed, say Christians; Rebuilding in Indonesia a year on from the tsunami; Earthquake has increased fears say Christian workers; Imposition of Shariah on non-Muslims proposed in Aceh 27/05/06; Muslims offer to guard Christian churches in Indonesia; BBC to examine beheadings of Christian schoolgirls; Indonesian president in call for religious tolerance; Indonesian Muslims say violence is sin and heresy; Indonesian Christians in fear after attacks and beheadings; Catholic agency arranging aid to earthquake zone; Church agency condemns Indonesian human rights decision]

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