More church agencies gear up aid for Java quake zone

By staff writers
May 30, 2006

More church agencies gear up aid for Java quake zone

-30/05/06

With local staff throughout Indonesia, US-based global humanitarian agency Church World Service responded almost immediately following the 28 May 2006, 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the island of Java, killing more than 5,400 people according to current estimates.

Church World Service (CWS), like UK agencies Christian Aid and CAFOD, is a member of the worldwide Action by Churches Together (ACT) ecumenical alliance, which has also made the Indonesian disaster a major priority.

According to CWS Indonesia director Maurice Bloem, the agency's staff on the ground and its local church and development partners straightaway distributed an initial supply of nearly 3,000 bottles of water and a supply of blankets to Bethesda Hospital in Yogyakarta, which is receiving many of the injured.

The powerful earthquake struck Indonesia's Central Java province before 6 AM local time, while many were still sleeping. Bloem says Bantul and Klaten districts were hardest hit by the quake. Thousands of homes and public infrastructure were heavily damaged, and aftershocks continue to rock the area.

CWS teams are continuing to assess damage and ongoing needs. So far, CWS Indonesia is focusing on ten out of the 11 heavily affected areas in Bantul: Kretek, Parangtritis, Bambanglipuro, Pundong, Sabdodadi, Jetis, Plered, Imogiri, Sewon and Kasihan.

From Washington, Church World Service emergency response programme director Donna Derr says CWS is assessing immediate needs in Bantul. "We're distributing food and non-food items to those affected, based on our findings. As of today, CWS has distributed 7,940 bottles of mineral water, 104 packages of biscuits, 1,000 packages of instant noodles, and Church World Service Hygiene Kits, Baby Kits and CWS Blankets."

Derr adds that Church World Service has distributed water and food rations to 500 households in four sub-districts of Bantul: Kretek, Parangtritis, Tambang Dipuro, and Pundong.

Bloem says that a shipment containing family tents, more CWS hygiene kits and blankets arrived in Solo airport Sunday from CWS's warehouse in Medan, South Sumatra, and aid workers will distribute those supplies tomorrow (Tues May 30) in the Boyolali district.

Church World Service's longer term response plans include ongoing provision of food and non-food assistance; water and sanitation system rehabilitation, home repair and reconstruction, livelihood recovery, and health and psychosocial support services.

Derr explains that Church World Service and other international NGOs, already on alert for possible eruption of Mount Merapi, turned to responding to the millions affected by the Saturday quake.

In Indonesia, Yakkum Emergency Unit (YEU) is evacuating injured children to Tegalyoso Hospital in Klaten and the agency's partner Yayasan Tanggul Bencana is providing staff to help coordinate the distribution of food and medicine.

On Saturday, YEU began providing medical services and assessments in the affected areas through mobile clinics that are each staffed by medical teams of doctors, nurses and support staff. Yakkum has also established health posts to provide medical services.

Church World Service's Bloem says the Yakkum mobile clinic teams are reporting that in each village they visited, 80 to 98 percent of houses are damaged, hundreds of people are injured, and up to 100 people were killed. The team reports inadequate shelter to protect survivors from rain, a lack of first aid kits and medicines, no adequate latrines or other sanitation facilities, and a need for food and essential non-food items.

"Indonesia is still recovering from tsunami devastation," says Derr. "Our hearts are with those affected by this latest earthquake in Java and those who may have lost loved ones." Church World Service is still in the process of supporting long term recovery and livelihood programs in Indonesia following the region's deadly tsunami in December 2005.

Meanwhile, tents and ten Salvation Army specialist medical workers, including doctors and nurses, have been dispatched to the devastated region. An immediate grant of 20,000 US dollars has been offered by the International Salvation Army HQ. .

World Vision is also coordinating its response with the Indonesian government and other NGOs, while an assessment team of doctors and aid workers continues to assess the scale of the needs.

And according to John Samuel, programme director for Tearfundís tsunami response programme based in Banda Aceh, the UK evangelical agency has already offered blankets, shelters and antiseptic lotions to the United Nations emergency response.

Lutheran World Relief and Mennonite Central Committee are among the other church bodies to announce immediate responses to the Java quake.

The International Red Cross, which cooperates with the Muslim-based Red Crescent, launched an emergency appeal for 12 million Swiss francs (9.85 million US dollars) over the weekend.

Church World Service is the humanitarian relief agency of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations in the United States, with 60 years of experience in disaster response. It is a member of the InterAction alliance.

Donations can be made to Christian Aid, CAFOD and the Red Cross in the UK and to Mennonite Central Committee in the USA.

Contributions to support the CWS emergency appeal may be sent to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Contributions may also be made by credit card online, or by calling (in the US): 800-297-1516, ext. 222.

[Also on Ekklesia: Mennonites describe Indonesian earthquake horror 30/05/06; 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]

More church agencies gear up aid for Java quake zone

-30/05/06

With local staff throughout Indonesia, US-based global humanitarian agency Church World Service responded almost immediately following the 28 May 2006, 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the island of Java, killing more than 5,400 people according to current estimates.

Church World Service (CWS), like UK agencies Christian Aid and CAFOD, is a member of the worldwide Action by Churches Together (ACT) ecumenical alliance, which has also made the Indonesian disaster a major priority.

According to CWS Indonesia director Maurice Bloem, the agency's staff on the ground and its local church and development partners straightaway distributed an initial supply of nearly 3,000 bottles of water and a supply of blankets to Bethesda Hospital in Yogyakarta, which is receiving many of the injured.

The powerful earthquake struck Indonesia's Central Java province before 6 AM local time, while many were still sleeping. Bloem says Bantul and Klaten districts were hardest hit by the quake. Thousands of homes and public infrastructure were heavily damaged, and aftershocks continue to rock the area.

CWS teams are continuing to assess damage and ongoing needs. So far, CWS Indonesia is focusing on ten out of the 11 heavily affected areas in Bantul: Kretek, Parangtritis, Bambanglipuro, Pundong, Sabdodadi, Jetis, Plered, Imogiri, Sewon and Kasihan.

From Washington, Church World Service emergency response programme director Donna Derr says CWS is assessing immediate needs in Bantul. "We're distributing food and non-food items to those affected, based on our findings. As of today, CWS has distributed 7,940 bottles of mineral water, 104 packages of biscuits, 1,000 packages of instant noodles, and Church World Service Hygiene Kits, Baby Kits and CWS Blankets."

Derr adds that Church World Service has distributed water and food rations to 500 households in four sub-districts of Bantul: Kretek, Parangtritis, Tambang Dipuro, and Pundong.

Bloem says that a shipment containing family tents, more CWS hygiene kits and blankets arrived in Solo airport Sunday from CWS's warehouse in Medan, South Sumatra, and aid workers will distribute those supplies tomorrow (Tues May 30) in the Boyolali district.

Church World Service's longer term response plans include ongoing provision of food and non-food assistance; water and sanitation system rehabilitation, home repair and reconstruction, livelihood recovery, and health and psychosocial support services.

Derr explains that Church World Service and other international NGOs, already on alert for possible eruption of Mount Merapi, turned to responding to the millions affected by the Saturday quake.

In Indonesia, Yakkum Emergency Unit (YEU) is evacuating injured children to Tegalyoso Hospital in Klaten and the agency's partner Yayasan Tanggul Bencana is providing staff to help coordinate the distribution of food and medicine.

On Saturday, YEU began providing medical services and assessments in the affected areas through mobile clinics that are each staffed by medical teams of doctors, nurses and support staff. Yakkum has also established health posts to provide medical services.

Church World Service's Bloem says the Yakkum mobile clinic teams are reporting that in each village they visited, 80 to 98 percent of houses are damaged, hundreds of people are injured, and up to 100 people were killed. The team reports inadequate shelter to protect survivors from rain, a lack of first aid kits and medicines, no adequate latrines or other sanitation facilities, and a need for food and essential non-food items.

"Indonesia is still recovering from tsunami devastation," says Derr. "Our hearts are with those affected by this latest earthquake in Java and those who may have lost loved ones." Church World Service is still in the process of supporting long term recovery and livelihood programs in Indonesia following the region's deadly tsunami in December 2005.

Meanwhile, tents and ten Salvation Army specialist medical workers, including doctors and nurses, have been dispatched to the devastated region. An immediate grant of 20,000 US dollars has been offered by the International Salvation Army HQ. .

World Vision is also coordinating its response with the Indonesian government and other NGOs, while an assessment team of doctors and aid workers continues to assess the scale of the needs.

And according to John Samuel, programme director for Tearfundís tsunami response programme based in Banda Aceh, the UK evangelical agency has already offered blankets, shelters and antiseptic lotions to the United Nations emergency response.

Lutheran World Relief and Mennonite Central Committee are among the other church bodies to announce immediate responses to the Java quake.

The International Red Cross, which cooperates with the Muslim-based Red Crescent, launched an emergency appeal for 12 million Swiss francs (9.85 million US dollars) over the weekend.

Church World Service is the humanitarian relief agency of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations in the United States, with 60 years of experience in disaster response. It is a member of the InterAction alliance.

Donations can be made to Christian Aid, CAFOD and the Red Cross in the UK and to Mennonite Central Committee in the USA.

Contributions to support the CWS emergency appeal may be sent to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Contributions may also be made by credit card online, or by calling (in the US): 800-297-1516, ext. 222.

[Also on Ekklesia: Mennonites describe Indonesian earthquake horror 30/05/06; 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]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.