Java quake scene like tsunami, says Indonesian Mennonite

By staff writers
June 4, 2006

Java quake scene like tsunami, says Indonesian Mennonite

-04/06/0

Writing from Indonesia for inter-Mennonite relief and development agency Mennonite Central Committee, Abang Rahino has decribed the scale of the task facing the aid operation in the aftermath of the Java quake, which has killed up to 6000.

ìThe scene is precisely as horrible as what I saw in Aceh sixteen months ago [during the tsunami]î, says Rahino. ìPundong District, Bantul, Jogjakarta Province, Indonesia, has been flattened.î

The MCC Indonesia operative continues: ìNinety percent of the buildings in the area were destroyed. Bantul is the worst hit Regency in Jogjakarta. The quake was caused by shifting tectonic plates 33 kms below the sea bed. Electricity remained off in most areas of Jogjakarta making relief efforts in the night even harder.î

As of [last] Sunday at 9.00pm local time, as many as 4,768 people had been found dead and 3,824 buildings ruined throughout the affected areas in Jogjakarta Province and the neighboring province of Central Java, reports the Kompas daily, Monday. There were 294 people found dead in Pundong District alone, with 80 houses totally destroyed.

There are roughly 200 members of the Indonesia Mennonite Muria Christian Church (GKMI) from 45 families who live among the citizens of Pundong. 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 Diacon Services conducted an initial response by establishing a community kitchen. MCC supported the project by delivering foodstuffs including rice, instant noodles, bread, bottled water and mung beans. Mennonite Diacon Services has also started a health centre with three volunteers who are being coordinated by Mardi Rahayu Hospital, and a trauma healing clinic supported by the Peace Center 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 met with Mennonite Diacon Services to explore possible projects that may take place after the emergency response.

The Mennonitesí work is an example of the small-scale, locally rooted initiatives responding to the Java quake tragedy alongside national governments, the United Nations and larger NGOs.

Ecumenically, churchesí efforts are being implemented by Action of Churches Together (a World Council of Churches affiliate), Church World Service, and the Catholic aid network Caritas.

Mennonites are one of the historic peace churches, tracing their origins to the radical wing of the Reformation in Europe. They are known for their work on reconciliation and social justice issues.

[Also on Ekklesia: WCC lends support to quake-hit Indonesian churches 01/06/06; More church agencies gear up aid for Java quake zone 30/05/06; 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]

Java quake scene like tsunami, says Indonesian Mennonite

-04/06/0

Writing from Indonesia for inter-Mennonite relief and development agency Mennonite Central Committee, Abang Rahino has decribed the scale of the task facing the aid operation in the aftermath of the Java quake, which has killed up to 6000.

ìThe scene is precisely as horrible as what I saw in Aceh sixteen months ago [during the tsunami]î, says Rahino. ìPundong District, Bantul, Jogjakarta Province, Indonesia, has been flattened.î

The MCC Indonesia operative continues: ìNinety percent of the buildings in the area were destroyed. Bantul is the worst hit Regency in Jogjakarta. The quake was caused by shifting tectonic plates 33 kms below the sea bed. Electricity remained off in most areas of Jogjakarta making relief efforts in the night even harder.î

As of [last] Sunday at 9.00pm local time, as many as 4,768 people had been found dead and 3,824 buildings ruined throughout the affected areas in Jogjakarta Province and the neighboring province of Central Java, reports the Kompas daily, Monday. There were 294 people found dead in Pundong District alone, with 80 houses totally destroyed.

There are roughly 200 members of the Indonesia Mennonite Muria Christian Church (GKMI) from 45 families who live among the citizens of Pundong. 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 Diacon Services conducted an initial response by establishing a community kitchen. MCC supported the project by delivering foodstuffs including rice, instant noodles, bread, bottled water and mung beans. Mennonite Diacon Services has also started a health centre with three volunteers who are being coordinated by Mardi Rahayu Hospital, and a trauma healing clinic supported by the Peace Center 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 met with Mennonite Diacon Services to explore possible projects that may take place after the emergency response.

The Mennonitesí work is an example of the small-scale, locally rooted initiatives responding to the Java quake tragedy alongside national governments, the United Nations and larger NGOs.

Ecumenically, churchesí efforts are being implemented by Action of Churches Together (a World Council of Churches affiliate), Church World Service, and the Catholic aid network Caritas.

Mennonites are one of the historic peace churches, tracing their origins to the radical wing of the Reformation in Europe. They are known for their work on reconciliation and social justice issues.

[Also on Ekklesia: WCC lends support to quake-hit Indonesian churches 01/06/06; More church agencies gear up aid for Java quake zone 30/05/06; 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]

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