Geneva, 30 November 2004 - An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale rocked the coastal town of Nabire, Papua province, on 26 November. Earlier this month, earthquakes struck the island of Alor elsewhere in Indonesia, and in February of this year, Nabire itself was struck by a series of quakes that caused multiple deaths and injuries. In the latest emergency, hundreds of homes and public buildings such as mosques, churches, schools and offices were flattened or set ablaze. The death toll currently stands at 26, with hundreds suffering injuries to some extent. Infrastructure is also heavily affected, with roads rendered impassable, bridges badly damaged or collapsed, telephone and electricity lines cut and port and airport facilities damaged.
ACT member YAKKUM Emergency Unit/CD Bethesda (YEU) reports that the most urgent needs are clean water as water pipes and tanks have been fractured by the quake; basic food items - the port is damaged and ships cannot unload their goods; and tents – people are currently seeking shelter under makeshift tents. It is estimated that available food and oil supplies will run out within a week.
YEU plans to send medical staff, medicines, mats and medicated mosquito nets while carrying out further assessments. The initial plan is to provide health services in the form of mobile clinics. Training will be provided on first aid and basic health care. The water and sanitation problems will also be assessed. YEU plans to assist those living on the shore areas who are farthest away from community health services and where there is currently no organisation helping with food or water.
The YEU emergency team is co-ordinating with the local government task force for disasters (SATLAK), Yayasan Primeri (the local health-related NGO), and a Catholic congregation, Sisters of ADSK in Nabire. It is currently having discussions with the local Health Department and the Community Health Centers. The plan to have health training is being discussed intensively as health is a primary need and some areas do not have access to the health center.
The ACT Co-ordinating Office is in contact with members in Indonesia about a possible response.
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For further information please contact:
ACT Interim Director, Jenny Borden (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Appeals Officer, Mieke Weeda (phone +41 22 791 6035 or mobile phone +41 79 285 2916)
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org
ACT is a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies worldwide.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.