Indonesia: CHF's emergency response team to assist earthquake survivors in Sumatra

CHF International's emergency response team is heading to Indonesia to respond to the immediate shelter needs of the people of Sumatra.

An earthquake struck on Wednesday close to Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, bringing scores of buildings crashing to the ground. More than 1,000 people are known to have died and as many as 3,000 people are still through to be trapped under rubble in Padang and the surrounding areas. In rural areas, many thousands more buildings have been destroyed and whole villages flattened by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. The area has been further rocked by aftershocks of up to 6.8 magnitude.

CHF's Emergency Response Team (CERT) will provide immediate shelter assistance to families whose homes have been destroyed, using CHF's proven transitional shelter model. CHF's transitional shelter approach provides a cost effective way to ensure people who have lost their homes are provided with a dignified shelter that meets minimum international standards and that can last 2 or more years, while they rebuild their permanent homes.

In 2006, CHF International responded to the Yogyakarta earthquake in Indonesia that left up to 1.5 million people homeless, constructing 5,000 durable and attractive shelters out of bamboo and material salvaged from ruined houses in a model that is now replicated worldwide. The success of this came from working closely with the local communities, government and universities to ensure that the constructions were appropriate to the local region and the needs of the people, a methodology that CHF will follow in Sumatra.

At the same time CHF will assess how best to support affected families to rebuild and recover from these earthquakes. CHF's existing teams across Indonesia, experienced at emergency response and shelter construction since the 2004 tsunami, will enable us to ensure that needs are met swiftly and smoothly, with an understanding of the needs of the local people.