Indonesian landslides bury villages

By John Patrick

MANGGARAI, Indonesia - Herman Damas stood sobbing in the midst of his ruined village, facing a stark reality: his family had not survived.

On March 3, heavy rainfall caused severe landslides in villages throughout the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. In the Goreng Meni village in Manggarai, the inundation of stones and mud destroyed 11 homes and killed 19 people - including Damas's family.

In total, 43 people were killed in the disaster and some 5,000 people lost their homes.

"I can no longer see my children and my wife," said Damas, who discovered his wife's body floating in the floodwater. "I must accept this reality."

In response to the tragedy, an Operation Blessing emergency team of doctors, paramedics and volunteer workers were dispatched to Goreng Meni. In addition to providing medical care to injured survivors, the OBI team distributed 277 'family packages,' containing essential items such as lanterns, utensils, cooking supplies as well as hygiene and cleaning goods.

In total, OBI teams gave medical care to more than 1,250 people in three villages. The disaster, which can be a common occurrence during Indonesia's rainy season, caused an estimated $45.5 million in damages.

In early February, floodwaters submerged nearly half of Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, killing 44 and displacing more than 340,000 people.

Operation Blessing responded to that crisis by distributing more than 7,000 emergency food packages and 75,000 pounds of rice as well as providing medical treatment to nearly 14,000 victims.

How You Can Help

With your support, OBI can continue to bring emergency food, water and medical care to these earthquake victims and more who are caught in the midst of disaster. Be a part of OBI's ongoing disaster relief efforts by making an online donation today.