Indonesia: Irish Red Cross responds to rise in earthquake victims

Rising numbers of dead, injured and homeless people are being reported in the earthquake zone, according to local Red Cross volunteers who are working to rescue people and provide food, clean water and shelter.

The head of the Irish Red Cross team in Indonesia, Tim Cummings said the needs of survivors were growing - even as the search for people buried beneath the rubble continues.

"Besides evacuation, we expect that local Red Cross volunteers in the disaster zone will be able to distribute the aid items as soon as possible. I hope this can alleviate the suffering of the survivors," said Tim Cummings.

Baby food (1,000 units), tarpaulins (2000), blankets (5000) and sarongs (5000) are being shipped by the Red Cross in Indonesia as part of a major aid operation that also includes, field kitchens, and medical experts including 20 disaster response teams.

Thousands are reported to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings in the city of Padang, where hospitals a university and at least 500 houses have collapsed,

Noel Wardick, Head of the Irish Red Cross International Department who is en route to Indonesia, said priorities in earthquake disasters are medical supplies, water, food and shelter.

"We have been working in areas of Indonesia that were devastated by the tsunami. Right now we need to act to save lives in this new disaster zone by providing urgent medical treatment and basic foodstuffs."

Notes to Editor

The Irish Red Cross can provide three spokespeople on the Indonesian earthquake

- Tim Cummings. Indonesia.

- Noel Wardick. Ireland (travelling to Indonesia).

- John Roycroft. Ireland (Secretary General).

Please contact Aoife Mac Eoin on 087- 998 3788 to arrange an interview.

The Irish Red Cross is also monitoring the ongoing crisis in the Samoan Islands which were struck by a tsunami on Tuesday. The Indonesian earthquake is just one of several disasters that struck in a near-simultaneous fashion across Asia with two further typhoons expected to strike the Philippines and Viet Nam in coming days.

How you can help
Donations are being accepted online or by calling 1850 50 70 70.
Cheque and postal orders should be marked for the relevant appeal and made payable to:
Irish Red Cross,
16 Merrion Square,
Dublin 2.

Background Facts

The earthquake struck on Wednesday (30 Sept) at 17.15 local time, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shook the coastline of Sumatra.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 71 km off the coast, reportedly 57 kms south west of Padang Pariaman district in western Sumatra, with strong tremors felt in the provinces of Bengkulu and neighbouring West Sumatra.