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AmeriCares Sending Aid and Staff to Support Indonesian Earthquake Relief

  • October 21, 2009

Indonesia was recently rocked by two major earthquakes in one day. Over 1,000 deaths have been confirmed in and around Padang, a city of 800,000 on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Read the latest report from the field >>

AmeriCares has mounted disaster relief and emergency response efforts from its U.S. headquarters and on the ground in Indonesia.
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“Countless survivors cannot be reached due to landslides and damage to roads and bridges,” reports Puji Sutrisno, AmeriCares Emergency Response Manager in Indonesia. “Heavy rains are hampering the relief efforts and creating great misery for the survivors. We desperately need help, especially medical supplies to help treat the growing number of people who have been injured in the earthquakes.”

Several hospitals sustained severe damage; two have collapsed completely. Power outages impede search and rescue missions and pose a significant challenge to the massive relief efforts underway. 

AmeriCares is actively coordinating relief efforts in Indonesia with the Ministry of Health, the Emergency Crisis Center and local partners in the capital city of Jakarta. AmeriCares is also working with international groups and multinational donors, many of which teamed up during the massive global response to the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which killed 180,000 people in Indonesia alone.

The devastating earthquakes have caused significant injuries in thousands of victims. If not treated quickly, survivors with broken bones can develop severe complications and risk death.

“The effects of major earthquakes can only begin to be measured on the Richter scale. What follows such events are loss of infrastructure and building collapses, in particular.  Survivors rescued from collapsed structures often have suffered severe fractures, and crush injuries impacting their major muscle groups,” reports AmeriCares medical director Dr. Frank Bia, M.D. “Survivors are at risk for kidney shutdown, failure and even death. Antibiotics and IV’s can prevent infections from setting in while the bone and muscles heal and toxic proteins they help remove from the body during recovery.”

AmeriCares has extensive experience working in Indonesia, having undertaken large-scale emergency programming following the 2004 tsunami and the 2006 Yokyakarta earthquake.

AmeriCares is well-positioned to provide critical, lifesaving relief for earthquake survivors in Indonesia.

Update as of November 3, 2009: AmeriCares continues to help survivors of the recent typhoons, tsunami and floods in Asia and the South Pacific.  And we also continue our on-going efforts to provide lifesaving medical and humanitarian aid to people in poor and conflict-ridden countries struggling for daily survival around the world.    

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