Mennonites describe Indonesian earthquake horror

By staff writers
May 30, 2006

Mennonites describe Indonesian earthquake horror

-30/05/06

As international aid floods into the Java earthquake zone, a worker for the inter-Mennonite development agency MCC has said that ìthe scene is precisely as horrible as what I saw in Aceh sixteen months agoî during the tsunami.

Writes Abang Rahino of Mennonite Central Committee Indonesia: ìPundong District, Bantul, Jogjakarta Province, Indonesia, has been flattenedÖ No single building was left untouched. Ninety percent of the buildings in the area were destroyed. Bantul is the worst hit Regency in Jogjakarta.î

MCC says that the quake was caused by shifting tectonic plates 33 kilometres below the sea bed. As of Sunday (28 May 2006) at 9.00pm, as many as 4,768 people had been found dead and 3,824 buildings ruined throughout the affected areas in Jogjakarta Province and the neighbouring province of Central Java.

There are roughly 200 members of the Indonesia Mennonite Muria Christian Church (GKMI) from 45 families who live among the citizens of Pundong itself. All of the 45 families' homes were flattened by the quake. The GKMI Pundong church building has minor cracks in several different places, including its roofing.

Mennonite Central Committee has supported Mennonite Diacon Services' community kitchen by providing foodstuffs during the emergency response. Two trucks of items have been sent to Pundong from Salatiga.

The project has delivered foodstuffs including rice, instant noodles, bread, bottled water and mung beans. Mennonite Diacon Services has also started a health centre with three volunteers - which is being coordinated by Mardi Rahayu Hospital.

A trauma healing clinic has also been established, supported by the Peace Centre of Duta Wacana Christian University (PSPP).

As a first response, some Indonesian Mennonite congregations sent volunteers, foodstuffs, and used clothes to Pundong.

An MCC Indonesia team has been meeting with Mennonite Diacon Services to explore possible projects that may take place after the emergency response ñ with a focus on longer term development.

Many people impacted by the Java earthquake have been spending a third night without shelter, reports the BBC.

A senior United Nations official, Charlie Higgins, based in Yogyakarta, says the overall amount of aid appears to be sufficient, but that problems remain in getting it to some of the people who need it most.

The death toll in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake (originally estimated at 6.1 ñ higher and lower in specific areas) was this morning reported locally to have reached at least 5,427 ñ a thousand higher than international estimates.

Countries around the world, including the UK, have pledged more aid for the devastated region. Some 20,000 people have been injured and the government says as many as 200,000 people had been made homeless.

More bodies are believed to have been trapped under debris, but rescuers say the odds of finding further survivors are now slender.

Donations can be made to Christian Aid and CAFOD in the UK and to MCC in the USA.

[Also on Ekklesia: Christian Aid and CAFOD respond to Indonesia tragedy 28/05/06 ; Churches respond immediately to Indonesia earthquake 27/05/06; Churches manage to ship supplies to tsunami 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]

Mennonites describe Indonesian earthquake horror

-30/05/06

As international aid floods into the Java earthquake zone, a worker for the inter-Mennonite development agency MCC has said that ìthe scene is precisely as horrible as what I saw in Aceh sixteen months agoî during the tsunami.

Writes Abang Rahino of Mennonite Central Committee Indonesia: ìPundong District, Bantul, Jogjakarta Province, Indonesia, has been flattenedÖ No single building was left untouched. Ninety percent of the buildings in the area were destroyed. Bantul is the worst hit Regency in Jogjakarta.î

MCC says that the quake was caused by shifting tectonic plates 33 kilometres below the sea bed. As of Sunday (28 May 2006) at 9.00pm, as many as 4,768 people had been found dead and 3,824 buildings ruined throughout the affected areas in Jogjakarta Province and the neighbouring province of Central Java.

There are roughly 200 members of the Indonesia Mennonite Muria Christian Church (GKMI) from 45 families who live among the citizens of Pundong itself. All of the 45 families' homes were flattened by the quake. The GKMI Pundong church building has minor cracks in several different places, including its roofing.

Mennonite Central Committee has supported Mennonite Diacon Services' community kitchen by providing foodstuffs during the emergency response. Two trucks of items have been sent to Pundong from Salatiga.

The project has delivered foodstuffs including rice, instant noodles, bread, bottled water and mung beans. Mennonite Diacon Services has also started a health centre with three volunteers - which is being coordinated by Mardi Rahayu Hospital.

A trauma healing clinic has also been established, supported by the Peace Centre of Duta Wacana Christian University (PSPP).

As a first response, some Indonesian Mennonite congregations sent volunteers, foodstuffs, and used clothes to Pundong.

An MCC Indonesia team has been meeting with Mennonite Diacon Services to explore possible projects that may take place after the emergency response ñ with a focus on longer term development.

Many people impacted by the Java earthquake have been spending a third night without shelter, reports the BBC.

A senior United Nations official, Charlie Higgins, based in Yogyakarta, says the overall amount of aid appears to be sufficient, but that problems remain in getting it to some of the people who need it most.

The death toll in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake (originally estimated at 6.1 ñ higher and lower in specific areas) was this morning reported locally to have reached at least 5,427 ñ a thousand higher than international estimates.

Countries around the world, including the UK, have pledged more aid for the devastated region. Some 20,000 people have been injured and the government says as many as 200,000 people had been made homeless.

More bodies are believed to have been trapped under debris, but rescuers say the odds of finding further survivors are now slender.

Donations can be made to Christian Aid and CAFOD in the UK and to MCC in the USA.

[Also on Ekklesia: Christian Aid and CAFOD respond to Indonesia tragedy 28/05/06 ; Churches respond immediately to Indonesia earthquake 27/05/06; Churches manage to ship supplies to tsunami 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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