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Relief is now reaching survivors of a 7.7 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. AmeriCares leading aid worker in Indonesia is working with local authorities to support medical relief efforts.
The death toll is fast approaching 500 lives lost and hundreds of people remain missing. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which washed six villages completely into the ocean and left 12,800 homeless.
“AmeriCares is assessing needs to help treat the injured and restore health services,” reports Ella Gudwin, AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response. “The affected islands are a six-hour boat ride from the mainland. Relief efforts are being coordinated out of Padang and other ports with the best access to help survivors.”
In the first days of the response, poor weather conditions hampered search and rescue activities. Relief efforts have progressed, but limited access has left many families stranded on the devastated islands.
Hundreds of miles from the earthquake’s epicenter, volcanic eruptions continue in Indonesia. AmeriCares is currently monitoring the Mount Merapi volcano situation.
AmeriCares has historically responded to major disasters in Indonesia. Following the October 2009 Sumatra earthquake, AmeriCares provided medical and is providing for the reconstruction of a local hospital. Supporting recovery from the devastating 2004 tsunami, AmeriCares undertook a five-year reconstruction initiative. Programs included rebuilding hospitals and clinics, schools, water systems, training health workers and developing livelihoods for survivors.