Indonesia

Support arrives for Indonesian earthquake victims

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Plastic sheeting and other essential relief and hygiene items have begun to be distributed among earthquake victims in the remote Indonesian province of Papua, which was hit twice by major tremors this month. The first, on October 10, measured 6.4 on the Richter Scale.
Seven people were killed and hundreds of homes were badly damaged, leaving at least 10,000 people in need of help in the Manokwari district of the province.

The Indonesian Red Cross, with support from an International Federation appeal for 254,000 US dollars, is helping to meet the immediate needs of 4,000 of the worst affected people. Further assessments are being conducted to gauge long-term rehabilitation needs.

A one metre-high tidal wave swept over the island following the earthquake, leaving many people along the coast with no belongings.

Although there is sufficient food and medicine available, the local health authority is concerned over a risk of respiratory infections, diarrhea, skin diseases and malaria as some of the most affected families are living in makeshift shelters. Water shortages in some places due to wells being contaminated by sea water are causing additional worries.

Although the Red Cross was quick to respond to the earthquake by dispatching disaster response and assessment teams to the area, the remoteness and the difficult terrain of the region has posed problems in ascertaining the exact situation and needs of the affected population.

Red Cross assessments are still continuing to gauge the impact of a second earthquake on October 18, measuring 6.2.