While CNN reports that the latest disaster in
Saturday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck before dawn, destroying thousands of homes in the Bantul district in
Power and telephone service remained out for most of the impacted areas and tensions remained high that a nearby active volcano may erupt.
Even so, World Vision relief teams in Jakarta have dispatched emergency supplies to thousands of people left homeless, and are distributing essential items — including blankets, temporary shelter, and clothing — to provide immediate aid to affected children and families. Medical supplies will also be distributed to assist the wounded and support overwhelmed local hospitals. "We expect to reach some 200 families immediately with these initial supplies," says James East, World Vision's Communications Director for
Meanwhile, Operation Blessing
McClendon calls the scene "surreal… crumbled buildings are alongside untouched buildings, with virtually everyone standing and sitting outside, afraid to go inside any building. Survivors are terrified of another quake and feel safer under the sky rather than a roof… Compound fractures with bones protruding from crushed limbs are the most common injury. Doctors are walking from patient to patient treating as many as they can."
"Our immediate focus as first-responders is to provide support to overworked hospitals and go to outlying areas to treat critically injured patients," states Bill Horan, Operation Blessing President. A convoy of trucks transporting medicines and medical supplies, including three Operation Blessing ambulances, are en route to the devastated area.
From the outset, local Catholic parishes and staff from member organizations of Caritas Internationalis began assisting victims of the earthquake with temporary shelter, first aid, and emergency food and non-food assistance. Seven Catholic hospitals in the area have been treating the injured, while outreach teams of doctors and nurses have provided medical assistance to people in more remote areas. The national office of the Catholic Health Commission ‘Perdhaki’ has also arranged for more doctors and nurses to be sent to Yogyakarta from Catholic hospitals in
In addition, The Salvation Army has a number of experienced emergency response teams in
A Church World Service
Reuters News Service reports Saturday’s earthquake was the third major tremor to devastate Indonesia in 18 months, the worst being the quake and resulting tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004 which left some 170,000 people dead or missing.
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