Stamford, Conn. – Dec. 8, 2016 – Americares is responding to the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra early Wednesday morning, toppling buildings, destroying roads and sending aftershocks throughout the region. More than 100 people are reported to have died, and hundreds more were injured. An Americares partner organization in Indonesia reports one hospital has collapsed, and health facilities throughout the region are struggling to treat the influx of injured patients. The quake struck at 5 a.m. local time in Sumatra’s northernmost province, Aceh, the same area rocked by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
Americares is deploying an emergency response expert to Banda Aceh to assess survivors’ health needs and support health care services in the impact zone. The health-focused relief and development organization stocks emergency medicine and relief supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.
“With health facilities damaged and hundreds injured, medical care is one of the most urgent needs,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “We are working to ensure survivors have access to critical medicines and displaced families have the supplies they need to stay healthy.”
Americares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters and extreme poverty around the world for nearly 40 years, saving lives and improving health for families in crisis. In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, Americares completed a $50 million aid program that rebuilt schools, hospitals, water systems and livelihoods for survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. In all, the organization built or renovated more than 40 health care facilities across Southeast Asia.