Estonia provides aid to victims of Indonesia earthquake

Estonia will be sending an information technology expert to Indonesia along with the UN Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination (UNDAC) team, and the Foreign Ministry has also decided to support victims of the earthquake in Indonesia with 1 million kroons.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that preparations are going on in co-operation with the Interior Ministry and the Rescue Board to send an approximately 20-member Estonian rescue team to Indonesia. "The help of the Estonian rescue team was highly valued in dealing with the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Estonia's help is expected in Indonesia this time as well," said Paet.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the situation in Indonesia is very complicated and the nation has asked for help in stabilising the situation. "We have decided to send an Estonian expert to Indonesia who will help the UN aid mission with information technology matters," said Paet.

The Estonian information technology expert will go to Indonesia within the framework of the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP), which aims to support the activities co-ordinated by the UN in alleviating the results of humanitarian disasters.

The Indonesian government issued a plea for aid to the international community for, among other things, rescue teams, medical supplies and personnel, medicines, foodstuffs and tents. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) has sent an assessment and co-ordination team to the region.

On 30 September the West Sumatra province of Indonesia was hit by two powerful earthquakes. The regions that suffered the most are Padang, Pariaman and Mentawai. As of the morning of 1 October, there were 460 known casualties. At least 500 buildings have collapsed and thousands of people are feared to be trapped under the rubble. The Indonesian authorities estimate that the number of dead is much higher than the known number at the moment, since rescue operations are still in the beginning phases. Because of heavy rains and flooding, thousand of people have been forced to leave their homes. Initial reports state that infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and telecommunication and water supply systems, have been badly damaged.


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