According to media reports hundreds of people initially unaccounted for have been found alive. The villagers had fled to nearby hills to escape the floods and landslides that were triggered by heavy rain storms and three earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.3 to 5.4 on the Richter scale. Torrential rains lashed the island early Tuesday morning as most people were sleeping. Although Indonesia is in the "dry season", there has been an unusually large amount of rainfall.
Nias is a remote Indonesian Island, located in then Indian Ocean, west of Sumatra and about 1400 kilometers (825 miles) away from Jakarta. The island with a population of about 600,000, is a popular Tourist spot. Accessing the island and remote villages in the mountains is very difficult.
Persekutan Gereja di Indonesia (PGI) - also known as Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI) - has established Yayasan Tanggul Bencana (YTB) in 1991 to develop a structure that could respond to emergencies and also assist member churches in such responses.
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ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org