Stamford, Conn. – Dec. 27, 2018 – Americares is mobilizing an emergency response expert following the deadly tsunami that slammed into the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra without warning Saturday night, killing at least 430 people and forcing 21,000 others from their homes. According to officials, the tsunami was triggered by an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano that caused undersea landslides.
Indonesia’s disaster management agency raised the danger level for the Anak Krakatau volcano to its second highest level and more than doubled the no-go zone to a 3-mile radius on Thursday. Anak Krakatau continues to erupt, leaving many residents concerned more monster waves could hit Indonesia’s shores.
An Americares emergency response expert based in Jakarta will travel with the Ministry of Health to assess survivors’ health needs and offer assistance to partner organizations responding to the crisis.
“Our first priority is meeting survivors’ most urgent health needs,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino. “We are conducting an assessment with the Ministry of Health and are ready to respond in the hardest-hit communities.”
The tsunami is the latest in a string of recent natural disasters to hit Indonesia. The island nation is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” In October, Americares responded to the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that generated a deadly tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi with medical equipment and supplies for health tents providing primary care services for survivors. Americares continues to restore access to health services in the recovery process. Americares also responded to the powerful earthquake that shook the island of Lombok in August with medical supplies and equipment for health facilities and psychosocial support for relief workers responding to the crisis.
In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people throughout Southeast Asia, Americares completed a $50 million aid program that rebuilt hospitals, schools, 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.
Americares responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.
Donations to Americares Worldwide Disaster Relief Fund will support its tsunami response in Indonesia. To donate, go to americares.org/worldwide