Nampa, ID-10-07-09-After commercial jets were able to get through, MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) has halted its emergency relief and assessment flights to Indonesia's city of Padang, which was devastated by a massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake.
"Once the large Boeings were able to come in to Padang airport, MAF emergency services were no longer needed," said John Woodberry, MAF disaster response/security manager.
The quake hit Sept. 30, destroying hundreds of buildings and homes, triggering landslides, knocking out power and cutting off roads into the city of approximately 900,000 people. An estimated 700 people have been declared dead so far, with hundreds more still missing.
Responding to the emergency, MAF provided flights for Operation Blessing International from nearby Pekan Baru to Padang, close to the epicenter. MAF, which has worked with OBI since the 2004 tsunami, flew OBI medical teams into Padang, where OBI set up a base camp for relief workers in the center of town.
Woodberry said MAF was extremely grateful for the prayers and generous financial gifts from supporters that enabled it to respond quickly to disaster relief work.
MAF has worked in Indonesia since 1954. It has two aircraft in Sumatra - a Cessna 206 and a Cessna Caravan - that are based in Aceh, which is well north of the earthquake zone. The Caravan, according to Woodberry, has returned to northern Aceh province and resumed its regular program flying.