Monday, April 04, 2005

Boats Running Relief - Updates

Go to the Samatran Surfaraiis website and check theor update pages for more information, updates and photos.

http://www.sumatransurfariis.com

APRIL 1st UPDATE

First, there are no “April Fools” jokes in this update. It’s all very serious and heavy stuff that we’re encountering. We have heard a fair bit of good news sprinkled throughout the last few days, such as the fact that the missing surfers in Sorake/Lagundri from Australia, France, the UK, and Sweden have all been found safe and sound. However, most of the news has been devastating, and we’re all trying to sort through it right now.

For a bit of clarity, I think it will help to read the following information compiled primarily by the World Health Organization (WHO). It views things from the standpoint of a somewhat larger NGO. It focuses heavily on the impact on Nias and can miss some of the small stuff (such as the trauma in the Hinakos), but it should give you a firmer grasp on exactly what has happened, and what is still happening. The report was created on the 29th, so we’ve had lots of new information, as you can read at the bottom part of the update.

TIMELINE OF EARTHQUAKE AND LOCATION:

· A great earthquake was noted at 23:09:36 hrs, local time at epicenter, on Monday, March 28, 2005. The magnitude was 8.7 on the Richter scale and located in NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA. (by a seismologist). The epicenter located 90 km south of Sinabang with 30 Km Depth 2.065 N 97.010
· No Major Tsunami has been reported near the epicenter as yet.
· The earthquake was also felt in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Cocos Island, Australia

AREA AFFECTED

· Nias Island, Nias Province, Capital Gunung Sitoli, and Teluk Dalam (District Capital of South Nias)
· Simeulue Island, NAD Province
· Banyak Islands
· Parts of the Telos and Hinakos

POPULATION AT RISK

The affected population hit by the earthquake was not reported as yet, however Vice President Jusuf Kalla quotes "it is predicted and it's still rough estimate that the number of victims of death may be between 1,000 and 2,000"

AFFECTED POPULATION

· According to the information received from MOH and various sources, 1,000 persons were killed and injured in Nias Island and 200 in the Simeulue Island. However, these figures need to be confirmed by the ongoing field assessments.
· 2,000 people became homeless and IDPs in Nias (note: this figure is grossly underestimated; be sure to read our more accurate information below).

IMPACT ON HEALTH SERVICE AND HEALTH RELATED FACILITIES

· Reports from local authorities stated that 70% of buildings collapsed in Gunung Sitoli town (Nias).
· Telecommunication facilities are totally destroyed.
· Bridges were also destroyed and land transportation is blocked.
· The airport is still functioning and small planes can land.
· The electricity is cut partially.

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Secretary of the Presidential office with team visited the affected areas on 29 March 2005. President of Indonesia will visit the areas on 30 March 2005.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND W.H.O RESPONSES TO THE DISASTER

· Communicate through early warning system to all parties concerned, including field offices.
· MOH and WHO Emergency relief operation meeting organized at 07:45 hrs on 29 March 2005.
· WHO release 10,000 US$ immediately to MOH for emergency relief operation on 29 March 2005.
· North Sumatra provincial Health Office immediately sent Emergency Brigade Team to Nias.
· Special Emergency Surgery team lead by Prof. Idrus from Makasar, South Sulawesi province will arrive at Nias on 29 March 2005.
· Emergency medical supplies sent to affected areas. WHO warehouses in Medan and Aceh ready to transport emergency medical supplies according to need assessment.
· 50 medical professionals including specialist from Ministry of Health sent to Nias for rapid assessment and emergency relief operation
· WHO Health coordinator arrived Nias on 29 March 2005 as part UN joint mission led by UNOCHA from Banda Aceh and WHO security officer participated in UN assessment mission to Simeulue island.
· WHO Health coordinator from Meulaboeh arrived Nias with French Red Cross Team 29 March afternoon.
· MOH, PHO and WHO joint rapid assessment team will visit affected areas starting from 30 March 2004.
· WHO has strengthened its' office in Medan to support emergency relief services and closely monitor the situation in cooperation with MOH, Provincial and District Health Offices.
· UN DMC meeting organized at 12:00 on 29 March 2004 at Jakarta.
· Many UN organizations and NGOs are in the process of visiting the affected areas.

PROVINCIAL AND DISTRICT RESPONSE TO THE DISASTER

· Victims evacuated.
· District health office already established health post at sub-district and district level.
· 25 food packages were distributed to the victims.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS

· Mobile medical service for affected victims, injuries and trauma care.
· About 35 patients require medical evacuation from Gunung Sitoli town.
· Shelter, water, food including infant and supplementary food for children, clothes, blankets, sanitary measures and emergency lights.
· Operational funding supports for health staff to mobilize and provide health services to affected areas.
· Special transportation services to reach affected areas.
· Satellite telecommunication support.

Though the death toll from the report seems to be fairly accurate, it appears this report may have significantly underestimated the structural damage to these islands. Also, it does not even touch on the geographical changes that have taken place throughout Nias, Simeulue, the Banyaks, and the Hinakos. From our reports coming in from IDEP, the fantastic NGO we’ve been working with constantly since the first quake, the numbers are more staggering. On Nias, estimations are now that more than 20,000 villagers have been displaced, while more than 80% of the buildings THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. On Simeulue, about 50% of the buildings were seriously damaged throughout the island. The capital, Sinabang, was hit even harder, losing more than 80% of its infrastructure. An estimated additional 8,000 people in need of shelter and emergency aid are now being added to the list of 23,000 from the tsunami on December 26th. As you’ll see in this update, reefs are lifting and debris in the water is making sea navigation difficult, and virtually impossible at night. The Banyaks were the closest landmass to the quake's epicenter. The islands are very difficult to access and reports of damage there have been slow to emerge. Early reports from IDEP are that roughly 5,000 have been displaced in this area.

The mood of the villagers throughout the islands can best be described as discouraged, fearful, and desperate. Our reports from Yandi in Teluk Dalam are that everyone is scared to sleep anywhere indoors for fear another quake could cause their buildings to collapse. Everyone is sleeping outside on the grass and it has been pouring rain. Villagers are fighting over the few tarps they have, as well as battling over the few items of fresh food that they can find. Many villagers have cuts and injuries that cannot be properly treated at this time, so we are in a huge hurry to get out there and help. It sounds like this is the situation throughout most of the cities mentioned above – it’s really quite catastrophic.

Many of the villagers simply want OFF their islands, but even that can be unsafe. Our mate Rock, who was on the 180-ton boat “Nauli”, was anchored at Asu at the time and got the scare of his life when his behemoth of a tugboat was drug at anchor. He said the first jolt was like being punched from below. The tide then went way out as he rushed to evacuate the whole island of over 100 people. He feared another tsunami was going to hit, but fortunately it never did. However, he now estimates the island is now 3 – 5 meters higher than it initially was. That’s amazing work by Rock to think of the islanders first.

One of the most dramatic pieces of evidence of the lifting of the reefs comes from our friend Willy who runs the Benang Island Simeulue Resort, www.simeulue.com. Willy is a really good-natured fella who seems to have maintained his sense of humor throughout this entire ordeal. For example, when he sent Scuzz an email updating him on his situation, the title was “How Much Can a Koala Bear?” But there’s not joking about the fact that the poor guy, and all the citizens of Simeulue, have been through hell since the first quake. They were all just still recovering from the tsunami when the latest quake hit, and it hit them many times harder than the first one. Most of the aerial photos in this update are from Willy, who had to evacuate his friend Jonny and Dewi’s dad. Jonny and Dewi’s dad described it as the scare of a lifetime. The aerial view of the large house is Willy’s house. He said that previously there was no more than 3 meters of land in front of his house before the water touched the shore. Now there is over 30 meters of land. The house itself, seen close up in the photo with a shocked Johnny pictured in front, incurred major structural damage. Willy also said in that in the photo with the dry-docked boat the reef used to stick out about a meter from the shore; now it juts out like a major peninsula. It’s just amazing, shocking stuff, and this is a perfect example of the destruction and changes they are seeing throughout Simeulue.

So now the question is what’s being done, and what’s going to be done. IDEP got the ball rolling early on Tuesday morning by deploying of a team of experienced Indonesian Search & Rescue (SAR) & evacuation volunteers who traveled by ferry from Sibolga (Aceh) to Nias’ devastated capital Gunung Sitoli. More local volunteers followed quickly behind them, taking the ferry at 10 pm on Thursday night. The first team is currently working on rescuing people from the rubble and assisting in local refugee camps. The second team will also facilitate the reestablishment of basic communications on the island, and will travel overland to Mabrehe (also on Nias) to repair an SSB radio tower that an IDEP team installed there one month ago. IDEP’s aid delivery vessel, the Endless Sun, is on its way to the area now, stocked with hundreds of tons of aid, and should arrive in Sibolga on Tuesday the 5th. If support is available they will try to acquire some small fishing boats that can be used to facilitate aid delivery on the islands. Much of the aid on the Endless Sun was already earmarked for urgent needs on Aceh’s mainland, so the vessel’s project manager is currently in Banda Aceh organizing additional aid from the UN to be loaded onto the boat for delivery to the most recently devastated islands.

Sumatran Surfariis has it’s own very specific mission, which we hope to coordinate with IDEP to ensure that the most ground is covered in the most efficient manner possible. Tomorrow night, Southern Cross will set out on its April 2-16 mission that was initially set to be JUST a surf trip, but the Californian guests have agreed to help spend part of their time on relief and aid projects. The boat will be somewhat full with surf gear, but we will be using every bit of available space to bring supplies as we travel up through the Telos and Hinakos, on to Nias, and eventually up to the Banyaks and Simeulue. This trip will be essential for information gathering and surveying the new terrain. After some juggling to our surf trip schedule (and again some gracious understanding from our passengers to change boats), we’ve arranged to have our second largest boat, Asia, available for a full-on aid and relief mission from April 9 – 29. We will use the information gathered by the first journey on the Southern Cross, and we also hope to have Samantha from IDEP on this leg. Southern Cross will then head back out for an additional relief mission from April 18 - May 2. This trip was originally scheduled to be our sort of “first trip back” to the affected areas and we planned on doing some relief work, research, and rebuilding during this trip anyway. However, with the recent quake, the urgency and focus of this trip has changed dramatically. The Southern Cross is then set to go back out from May 4 - 18 with a group of 8 surfers, but again we’re hoping that the crew will be enthusiastic about helping those in need for at least a small portion of their trip. Lastly, we have a few passengers that we are hoping to move so that we can free up Asia so it can do one last relief mission from April 30 – May 14. It will require a great deal of corporation and understanding to get this last leg, but if we pull it off, we’ll essentially have 2 or our larger boats out in the water from early April to mid May to provide relief to these islands.



We are just a small group of surfers, but we are doing what we can to help, and it’s nice to know that many of our plans have been implemented and are beginning to show rewards. One of the projects that we speak of most often, and that we are most proud of, is the building of the “pig-impenetrable” fruit and vegetable garden on Bawa. With the generous funding from the Woodleigh School in Victoria and the Clean Ocean Foundation, the garden is really taking shape. We are employing 30 local Indonesians for this project, including Ajo the horticulturalist. He’s been instrumental this project by performing essential tasks such as testing the soil, measuring water levels, designing the field, directing us as to the best seeds to buy, and many other key tasks. We feel good that we are providing the villagers with both an immediate source of income, and a sustainable one for the long run. For example, had this quake happened in a year, the villagers of Bawa could have helped many by providing fresh fruit and vegetables to those in need. Also, the villagers can always sell their product to the visiting surfers in the area. Sumatran Surfariis’ very own Ovi, who grew up and lives on Bawa, has also been a key player in this project. Ovi is a personal friend of this webmaster, and I almost get choked up when I hear about how much he has emerged as a leader to his village, and also a no-questions-asked helping force to the nearby islands of Nias, Asu, Simeulue and the Banyaks.

We will hopefully have new inspirational stories to report in future updates. The Indonesians are an extremely resilient and upbeat group of people, and we are confident we can help them land back on their feet soon. Please consider donating to our relief effort. There is information on how to make a tax-deductible donation directly to our mission through the Clean Ocean Foundation here. Clean ocean will issue you a receipt which you can file for your taxes, and we can personally guarantee you that we will use the money in the most grass roots way there is – by traveling to the most remote, inaccessible places in Northern Sumatra and delivering aid and medical attention in person to those who need it most.

Thanks, and we’ll keep you posted. Take care.


APRIL 3rd UPDATE

Hello everyone. This is just a brief update to you keep you posted on our latest findings, as well as the status of our relief mission. We should have much more detailed information and photos soon, as Scuzz, the Californian crew, and the rest of our aid workers set foot on some of the devastated regions of northern Sumatra.

As you can see from the photos on this update, we stocked every available nook and cranny of the Southern Cross with relief supplies to take on it’s way up through the Telos, Hinakos, Nias, the Banyaks, and Simeulue. This wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of the Californian guests who were originally scheduled for just a normal surf trip. Mike Stenkilsson, Darren Stiles, Kevin McCarthy, David Lewis, Matt Stevens, Jeff Sivas, Matt Carrillo, and Bowen Ota all need to be thanked for not only sacrificing a great deal of comfort and elbow room on this journey, but also for agreeing to spend part of their surf trip helping those in desperate need of aid in this region. They are bringing as much essential survival material that they can fit, such as rice, noodles, fresh fruit and veggies, water, kerosene, and basic supplies for eating and digging. This trip will serve as a major surveying project so that the trips to follow can carry more specific products, and more of them, to the proper places.

The recent tragedy has also inspired one of our long-time return customers to make a special trip out to help those in need. Luis Renato Brand (a.k.a. “Mano”) is a surgeon from Curitiba, Brazil who usually comes out at least once a year to spend several weeks surfing with us. However this year Mano began a university job and was finding it impossible to come over with his new schedule. But after this most recent catastrophe, the pull to help was too great: “My mind tells me to come and leave all my jobs here and stay in indo as much it is needed.” This webmaster can tell you from personal experience that Mano does AMAZING work. I fell forward on a shallow reef up north, cutting my right hand badly. I didn’t even want to look at it at the time, but today I have trouble finding any evidence I was every even cut. Luis’ skills will be an extraordinary asset to the relief effort, but equally important is his positive and heartwarming personality. He puts everyone’s mind at ease and has a great way of relating to all cultures, and that’s exactly the type of people we need to make this relief effort successful.

The help cannot come soon enough, as the news continues to be heartbreaking. Word just came in from Scuzz just before he left that an Australian Aid helicopter had crashed in Teluk Dalam. We’ll give you more information on this as it develops, but preliminary information from Scuzz is that 9 of the 14 passengers have perished in this crash. Our hearts go out to the family members of those who lost their lives while unselfishly trying to help others.

We have also received further word from Dr. Kerry Sieh, our geologist friend from Caltech. He said the earthquake on March 26th appears to have been caused by a 3 – 10 meter slip on the megathrust under southern Simeulue to southern Nias, with the biggest patch of slip between Nias and Simeulue, west of the Banyaks. Members of Kerry’s crew will be heading out to the Mentawais and Batus this week to download their GPS units and send the data back to Caltech ASAP to see if anything strange has happened there. They have already received information from their stations in Bulasat, Tello, Singabang, and Sikaui, which should be processed within the next two days. This information should be very telling, and it should also give them a good idea whether or not anything fishy happened in the Mentawais or Batus.

Kerry himself will be back in Sumatra from mid-May through early-June to continue documenting what happened. In the meantime, he has asked Scuzz to check on the small island of Memong, which lies a few hundred meters north of the equator. Kerry says the land rises to about 4 meters above sea level at the highest point, with much of the island rising only to about 2 meters. He feels that even if a much smaller tsunami hit that didn’t’ register on the radar, even one of only 3 meters, they may have lost everything. There are about 20 wooden houses in the village Kerry befriended, so our thoughts are with the villagers of this small island.

As we said at the end of our last update, we hope to have more positive stories to report soon. But as of now, things are still very, very heavy. Please send you best wishes and positive vibes to the citizens of this area, as they will surely need it. And if you want to make a contribution to our relief effort, there is information on how to do so here.

Terima kasih – Slayer the web dork.


© 2002 sumatransurfariis.com. All rights reserved.
Address: Hotel Baaing Arau - Jalan Batang Arau #33, Padang 25118 - West Sumatra, Indonesia

36 Comments:

Blogger Birdie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

From Surfline.....

SURFERS WEATHER SUMATRAN EARTHQUAKE
News from local and traveling surfers has begun to trickle in days after an 8.7-magnitude earthquake struck islands off Northern Sumatra, news from local and traveling surfers has begun to trickle in. The epicenter of the earthquake was only 75 miles north of Nias Island, effecting a concentrated region of world-class surf that includes islands such as the Hinako, Banyaks, Nias, and Simeulue.

The earthquake caused extensive damage to buildings, led to a significant loss of life, and traumatized a local population still reeling from the December 26th quake and tsunami.

Jordan Heuer of Saraina Koat Mentawai received news from Nias via text messages from Mike Eu, a Singapore Airlines pilot and surfer. Eu experienced the quake first-hand from his house overlooking Lagundri Bay's perfect right. "My house shook for two minutes. I ran for my life. It's OK, only some cracks on the walls. It's like a war zone here...like in the movies. Dead bodies all over, roads parted, bridges broken, houses down."

Meanwhile, Henry Morales from Wavehunters Travel received a report from Mark Flindt on the KM Nauli, a surf charter boat stationed off the Hinako Islands. The Hinako are a small chain of islands west of Nias that attract surfers to a heaving left called Asu and a giant bowly right, Bawa (the one Tom Curren tore apart on his 5'7" fish in the mid 90s). Flindt reported massive reef uplifting in the region, with the end bowl at Asu being raised 3 meters. The "nuke zone" as the lethal, barreling end bowl is called, is currently dry and unsurfable. According to Morales, Flindt also saw "new bombies sticking up everywhere."

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that a land-based Hinako camp run by Aussie Mark Grant was partly destroyed in the quake. No guests were present. Grant, currently in Bali, learned of the situation by speaking to acquaintances at the camp by satellite phone. He told The Herald that "we usually only have tides of about three feet, but it's gone out much further than usual and hasn't come back. There are reefs exposed that we haven't seen before."

In the Mentawais, both surfers and surfspots seem to have escaped the earthquake unscathed. As Bruce Jaffe of the US Geological Survey explains, the Mentawais were far from the "zone of uplift," leaving them with little damage. Sean Murphy of Waterways Travel contacted his Mentawais surf charters by satellite phone after hearing of the quake. A relieved Murphy woke up crew on each boat, only to hear they had slept through the quake. As of Wednesday, all Mentawais boats have checked in, reporting safe passengers and no noticeable effects on the perfect reefs.

Farther away, in the Maldives, the Sumatran quake raised concern of another tsunami. Henry Morales heard from Lohifushi Resort surf guide Dan Capel by email. Capel was "warming up for disco" when he was told of the earthquake and a possible tsunami. Once informed, resort guests headed to the bar for a few beers, as the bar is highest point on the island. Capel reported that some guests "started freakin' and panicking a bit... a few guys grabbed their boards ready to bail, but most were pretty relaxed, one Italian asked if I could get him a life jacket while he waited at the bar." Fortunately, no tsunami reached the Maldives.

Back in Sumatra, multiple surf-related aid projects are racing towards Nias and the surrounding islands. SurfAid International has deployed 3 boats and a helicopter with medical personnel. They will address the worst hit areas of Gunung Sitoli and Teluk Dalam, the largest towns on Nias.

The Sumatra Surfzone Relief Organization will depart Padang ASAP on the Mikumba, to concentrate on the smaller islands that might not otherwise receive aid.

Related Links:

How you can help -

http://www.surfline.com/surfnews/2005_01_01_nias_fund.cfm

SurfAid International -

http://www.surfaidinternational.org/

SSRO - http://surfzonerelief.org/

--Lewis Samuels

6:59 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

3/29 post from Surfline

Disaster Strikes Sumatra Again

An 8.7-magnitude earthquake causes significant loss of life

An 8.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra on Monday March 28th, bringing new calamity to a region still recovering from the December 26th quake and tsunami. The epicenter of this new earthquake was only 75 miles north of Nias Island, home to the dreamy right barrel that has been drawing surfers to the area for decades.

The earthquake caused serious damage to buildings and led to a significant loss of life on Nias and surrounding islands. Initial reports indicate no significant tsunami was created. However, an Indonesian military commander has reported to news agencies that a 3m wave struck Simeulue, to the north of Nias, causing major damage.

According to Bruce Jaffe of the US Geological Survey, models suggest a tsunami should have struck the west coast of Nias and Simeulue. "There's several different models, and they all show the same thing." How big the tsunami was, and what damage might have occurred is unknown. "The models aren't real good at getting heights right, they're good at getting patterns right."

Although the quake was felt as far away as Japan, the damage seems to have concentrated on Nias and surrounding islands, sparing primary Indonesian surf destinations such as the Mentawais, Bali, Java, and Sumbawa. Jaffe reports the same fault that led to the Dec 26th event caused this earthquake, but this quake was focused on a few hundred km stretch, causing localized damage and the possibility of a more localized tsunami.

Throughout Sumatra, the surf season had just begun, with scores of devoted surfers returning to the islands of Nias, the Hinakos, the Simeulues, and the Mentawais.

Recent attempts to contact surfers on Nias have been unsuccessful.

Lagundri Bay, on the southwest coast of Nias, is home to a robust local surfing population, along with scores of hotels catering to foreign surfers. It is also unknown what effects the earthquake may have had on surfers in the Hinakos, and those on boat charters off Simeulue.

In Padang Sumatra, a bustling port town that acts as the gateway to the Mentawai Islands, Jordan Heuer of Saraina Koat Mentawai reported minimal damage, but widespread panic. "We felt the quake, but not very strong. It was kind of a slow, long lasting quakeâ€∫ Everyone panicked, and headed for the hills."

Initial reports from the Mentawais suggest the area was largely spared damage. Henry Morales of Wavehunters Travel has heard positive reports from a number of charters. Land based surfers in the northern

Mentawais reported to Jordan Heuer that the quake was noticeable, but not strong. Preliminary reports suggest the Mentawai reefs were unaffected.

Meanwhile, the residents of Nias and surrounding islands have not been so lucky. Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla told the BBC "more than 1,000 people were possibly dead" in Nias alone, and that around 80% of buildings were damaged in the main town of Gunung Sitoli.

Once again, a surfer's dreamland has become the scene of a tragedy. Nias has been a regular-foot mecca for over 25 years, with images of lime green, palm fringed barrels luring travelers to this remote outpost.

Surfing tourism contributed to prosperity and development on Nias. Now surfers fear that many of the concrete buildings funded by their dollars may have become tombs for local residents.

International relief agencies are en route to Nias to provide assistance. Meanwhile, smaller relief organizations spearheaded by concerned surfers are rushing to the more remote islands.

Surf Aid International has been providing medical aid and supplies to the tsunami-stricken region since January. They are uniquely equipped to handle this new disaster, and are currently rushing to provide aid via surf charter boats. SurfAid CEO Andrew Griffiths notes the "situation is reportedly very severe on Nias, Simeulue and in the Banyaks. People are trapped and we are putting together another response, one boat to go out tonight (March 28th) US time and then three more over the coming days."

Another aid project, the Sumatra Surfzone Relief Organization, has moved up their schedule for ongoing relief efforts. According to director Bill Sharp, SSRO will concentrate on the smaller islands that might not otherwise receive aid. "My gut feel is that Simeulue once again will be ignored. We're going to focus on the areas where we know the lay of the land. We don't want to lose our focus... accessing the places that are more challenging for the people that aren't used to it." Medical teams are standing by in Padang, and SSRO will be en route within the next few days.

These surfer-led relief efforts are filling a dire need, allowing surfers to give back to a region that has given surfers so much. Our thoughts go out to the local population and any travelers effected by this latest Indonesian tragedy.


Other Aid Organizations: SurfAid International, SSRO

--Lewis Samuels

10:37 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Surf Aid Update from Sumatra

Dear SurfAid supporters,

The team at SurfAid International is deeply saddened by yet another tragedy occurring in Sumatra, Indonesia. The March 28 earthquake measured between 8.2 and 8.9 on the Richter scale. This is one of the most powerful earthquakes the world has experienced in recorded history. The worst affected areas are the islands off the west coast of Sumatra, including Nias, Simeulue and the Banyak Islands. This quake has compounded the humanitarian crisis in the region still suffering from the effects of the December 26 catastrophe.

We are very appreciative of all the calls and e-mails that we have been receiving. All of our staff members located in Padang, West Sumatra, are safe, however there is still little word on our field team in Simeulue.

There is still no news on the following staff:

Rudi Sutriady – logistician
Enny Novita – part-time office support
Bapak Harun – driver

All efforts will continue to be made to contact the SurfAid staff in the Simeulue office.

The following is the latest news on the ground in Nias:

+ Indonesian officials report 330 people killed on Nias and Simeulue, though the death toll could reach more than 2,000.
+ We have located our staff member Herman who is now in Gunung Sitoli, where he is hard at work putting together a management team to assist the incoming doctors.
+ Herman reports widespread devastation of infrastructure.
+ The local hospital is still standing.
+ Hospital staff have fled, and there are scores of injured and nobody to attend to them.

SurfAid Response

SurfAid is planning emergency interventions to the worst affected areas of Nias and surrounding islands. Many of the affected populations are in isolated locations that may now be reachable only by boat, as most of the bridges on Nias have been destroyed. SurfAid’s unique and established relationships with the local surf-charter industry have allowed us to use marine-based resources to rapidly initiate relief operations.

Initial plans comprise a marine-based medical and relief operation to address the worst hit areas of Gunung Sitoli and Teluk Dalam, Nias Island’s largest towns. Both towns suffered extensive damage. Up to 80% of Gunung Sitoli’s (population 20,000-30,000) buildings were destroyed, and reports from Teluk Dalam (population 10,000) indicate a similar situation. There are direct reports of people trapped under wreckage and numerous injuries, with a complete breakdown of communications, infrastructure and services.

Resources Deployed

Boat MV Saranya
On board:
2 SurfAid nurses, drugs, mosquito nets, rice, water and other food items

Helicopter
On board:
Surgical team from AusAID who will meet with our team on the ground comprising of:
2 Trauma Nurses
1 surgeon
1 GP
1 Emergency specialist

Katika
On board:
Dr Dave Jenkins + 2 other Dr's
Australian Journalist
Translator, team leader

MV Equator
On board:
5 Trauma Nurses
4 Doctors

Medical teams will assess the level of injuries of the affected populations for on-site treatment and stabilization of more severe cases for evacuation (on SurfAid boats) and further treatment in hospitals of the nearest unaffected port Sibolga, located on the Sumatran mainland east of Nias.

For more detailed information and daily updates, please visit the SurfAid International web site at www.surfaidinternational.org.

Many of you have asked how you can help. As always, the greatest need at times like this is funding, which enables us to fully maximize the scope of our operations. We greatly appreciate your continued support and concern.

Terima kasih,

Team SurfAid

10:40 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

This is an earlier update (Jan) from IDEP

IDEP Aceh Recovery Programs
Field Reports > Robert Wilson from Rip Curl joins the team

Reports from Sumber Rejeki & Karya Bersama

Rip Curl: Riding the Wave of Grace by Kat Wheeler
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The story of outstanding support from Rip Curl, an international surf company with a very big heart, for relief aid vessels 'Karya Bersama' and 'Sumber Rejeki Bahru'.

Rip Curl is one of the leading surf companies in Indonesia, with a long history of working on Sumatra’s west coast. Intimately familiar with the islands, waters and communities there, the company’s executives quickly decided to focus relief aid in this area after the tsunami. Inspired by Robert Wilson, they established Rip Curl Indian Ocean Aid, an initiative to bring relief to survivors in Sumatra and the Maldives. The team worked with Yayasan IDEP and the Tsunami Relief Initiative / Bali Patok LKMD – Ubud on the Sumatran front.

On January 9, three team members from Bali flew to Padang. Robert Wilson of Rip Curl, Gde Ariawan of LKMD Ubud and Jack McNaught from IDEP boarded Karya Bersama , a vessel chartered by Rip Curl with a full load of emergency aid for survivors. The cargo bays overflowed with 1200 care buckets containing medicines, cleaning gear, rice,
cooking utensils, soap and other essential items. Also aboard were 116 generators, 116 water pumps, 400 litre water tanks, jerry cans, tarps and building tools.

Narrative from Robert Wilson of Rip Curl…

The Karya Bersama’s cargo was intended for the survivors of the Island of Simeulue and Calang on the mainland of North Sumatra. Located near the epicenter of the earthquake, both areas were believed to have suffered severe damage in the tsunami.


We arrived in Sinabang, the capital of Simeulue, on January 12th and delivered some of the cargo to the Governor for distribution to those most in need. Amazingly, only 7 deaths were reported at that time on Simeulue. The people of the island were very aware of a tsunami’s power, having been hit by one in 1907. Most of the villagers knew to run to high ground when the sea receded. Although very few lost their lives, over 22,000 people were displaced.


We departed Simeulue the next day, bound for Calang on the mainland of North Sumatra. This destination was chosen after having we received information from another vessel (also co-sponsored by Rip Curl), the Sumber Rejeki Bahru. Arriving in Calang, we found complete devastation. Three quarters of the population had been killed and all houses and infrastructure utterly destroyed from the beach to the foothills two or three kilometers away. The locals described a wave as tall as the coconut trees to Robert, who later measured the high water mark at 25 metres. They also described the sea water as being very hot; indeed, the leaves and grasses at the high water mark seem to have been burnt.


In Calang, we unloaded the balance of the aid and handed it over to Mr Ade Taryano (of Rakata Adventure a Jakarta based Tour Company) whos guidance lead the expedition in land. Ade and his team were stationed in Calang assisting people on the ground when we arrived and thanks to Ade and his team the distribution of goods in Calang was successfully achieved.


The Karya Bersama then departed for Padang with Jack McNaught on board. Robert and Odek then boarded the Sumber Rejeki Bahru, which was headed for Banda Aceh for resupply after distributing about 90 tons of aid purchased by IDEP. Odek left from here for Jakarta while Robert stayed on to purchase building supplies. This proved to be a challenging exercise, given that most of Banda Aceh had been destroyed and the only stores remaining were quite small and situated on the outskirts of town.

Nonetheless a truckload of roofing iron and tools was assembled and loaded onto Sumber Rejeki Bahru along with supplies purchased by IDEP and other goods donated by various agencies including The World Food Program (WFP) operating in Banda Aceh.


The Sumber Rejeki Bahru departed Banda Aceh on the morning of January 18 for Calang. Robert hitched a ride on a military C130, destination Medan, and then headed home to Bali to continue fundraising efforts.


As of January 20 the boats had made four trips to Calang, delivering hundreds of tons of relief supplies.

A large proportion of these supplies were purchased through support from Rip Curl Indonesia and Rip Curl Australia. Donations from these two outstanding supporters totaled Rp 556,500,000. Some of these funds were disbursed through IDEP and other funds delivered directly to the projects on the ground by Robert Wilson. All funds went directly into aid, which was delivered into the hands of the survivors.

IDEP wishes to express its profound thanks to Rip Curl Indonesia and Rip Curl Australia and to many people who have helped make this initiative possible

1:04 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Another IDEP update from January:

IDEP Aceh Recovery Programs
Field Reports > Mikumba delivers aid to Nias and Simeulue
Reported by Sumatran Surfzone Relief Operation

Aid by Sea: The SSRO — An IncredibleVoyage Edited by Kat Wheeler
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Aid has been slow to reach many of the isolated communities on the northwest coast of Sumatra and its offshore islands. AAAI has supported several marine relief missions since early January, including two by the Mikumba. This is an account of the surfer-organized grassroots effort Sumatran Surfzone Relief Opertion (SSRO) to help the people of the tsunami- stricken outer islands of Sumatra, Indonesia.

From the diaries of the team aboard the Mikumba…
Between January 13 and 22, Phase One of the Sumatran Surfzone Relief Operation (SSRO) delivered medical care as well as 37 tons of food and other aid to communities on the islands of Nias and Simeulue.

Phase Two began when the newly loaded Mikumba left Padang on January 30. The next day, the SSRO's relief efforts took on a new poignancy. At tiny Siberut Island, 16 dugout canoes and 32 paddles were taken aboard our ship. This vital component of sustainable, culturally consistent relief now lay stacked amidships on the deck.

Sailing north to Simeulue, small villages lay sleeping in the morning haze. Thatch huts on stilts, typically surrounding a stone mosque or church, canoes resting on a quiet beach below. So peaceful, but we know all too well what devastation occurred on the exposed northwestern coast of these islands where similarly picturesque settlements were suddenly engulfed by a 30-foot wave and wiped off the map.

At one anchorage, we saw palm trunks sticking up out of the sea about 100 yards from shore. We learned that three houses once stood under these trees. The entire southern tip of Simeulue submerged some three feet on the day of the great upheaval, nearly matching the stunning uplift of reefs on the northern end. Despite widespread destruction, the people of Simeulue are cheerful and industrious, putting back the pieces of their lives as well as possible.

We made our first stop at the village of Salu with a population of approximately 500, setting up our mobile medical clinic in the cramped office of the Kepala Desa, or village chieftain. Food, tools and school supplies were distributed outside. The first canoe was presented to Salur’s most experienced fisherman, much to his delight. As with virtually every other island village the Mikumba visited, the sea-wise population, upon feeling the earthquake and seeing the waters recede, spontaneously headed for the hills. Few lives were lost.

The Mikumba sailed that night en route for the northwestern region of Simeulue, the area hardest hit by the tsunami, and not yet visited by major relief operations. It is known that the small villages ringing Simeulue's many palm-lined bays are still in dire need of medical and food assistance. The SSRO team is ready to go where others can't in these reef-strewn and wave-lashed coastlines. Cruising offshore, picking our way through the coral maze, we look for the smoke of cooking fires, the only sign of habitation along this primordial shore. There are many destinations on our list.

A few days later, the scale of Southeast Asia's tsunami disaster had been narrowed down to a single life for the crew of the Mikumba. A baby, barely a week old, lay in his young mother's arms in the wreck of a village named Teluk Delam. SSRO's medical team diagnosed a severe infection, which would be fatal without immediate medical care. We loaded Umi, her ailing son Radja (Arabic for Hope) and aged mother aboard the Mikumba and raced south to Busung, where an ambulance could transfer the tiny patient overland to Sinabong, Simeulue's capital city.

SSRO's medical team worked tirelessly throughout the six-hour voyage to stabilize the very sick baby. Twice during that long night the little patient's heartbeat stopped, requiring emergency CPR. Upon arrival in Busong Bay, the Mikumba rendezvoused with SurfAid doctors on the vessel Indies Trader 2. Dr. Ben Gordon, roused from sleep, immediately transferred to the Mikumba and spent the rest of the early morning setting up an IV unit and further stabilizing young Radja, who was diagnosed with acute tetanus.

At daylight the little family and a doctor were ferried to shore. A van was arranged to medevac them to Sinabong, where aid organization doctors waited to provide more extensive medical care.

Later that day, Mikumba sailed to a string of coastal villages that were reported to be in need of immediate aid, even though it was now well over a month after the tsunami. On shore, crowds of villagers rushed to the water's edge with courteous anticipation. The village was still reeling from the effects of the 18-foot wall of water that raged through this peaceful shore. Not one life was lost in this village, but virtually everything else was.

Relief efforts, including a medical clinic, supply distribution and the presentation of the valued canoes started the next day. Severe squalls made offloading treacherous. SSRO's medical team was ferried ashore and a M*A*S*H-like clinic was thrown up. Eight canoes were hurled like javelins from the heaving deck of the Mikumba into the swells. Eight bold fisherman leapt after them, and exhibiting incredible dexterity and seamanship, delivered the precious craft to shore.

The capriciousness of the tsunami and subsequent damage is startling. Two villages are separated by a single headland, maybe three-quarters of a mile across a steep grade. But while Naibos looked bombed-out with bridges down, trees toppled and walls caved in, Laayon simply no longer existed. During a reconnaissance trip on the back of a motorcycle, one SSRO team member asked while waiting for a herd of water buffalo to cross the road between empty fields, "How far is Laayon from here?" With sad eyes, the driver of the motorcycle looked out upon the barren landscape and said, "This was Laayon."

We learned that night that little Radja from Teluk Delam had died of complications from tetanus. He was eight days old. But if you measure success in life by having it said that you inspired others, then Radja's short time on earth was very full indeed.

After several more stops to distribute aid and provide medical care, a final assessment of our last remaining supplies revealed that we had just enough for one more small village. Rumors from other Captains in the area inspired us to chance one last bold mission. With little water left on board and just enough fuel with fair weather to make it home to Padang, we decided to strike north three hours into the restricted Alafan region and find the remote village of Lafakha. Unique in its river mouth geography, this small village of 850 people was a catcher’s mitt for the tsunami. Here we witnessed the most extraordinary sight of both our voyages. Not only was the coastline and small village smashed to pieces, but the reefs of the bay, shifted by the great seismic event, rose up to 9 feet out of the water and stretched for miles in each direction dry as bones. It was a desertscape of coral with a strange, deadly beauty -- a new land, unwalkable, with great towers of the underwater world exposed and drying brittle and rock-hard in the equatorial sun. A land like no other on earth.

After initial contact with the grateful villagers, the last stand of the Mikumba’s Phase Two got underway in an old wood drying shed Again, the SSRO team worked dawn to dusk until every last item of our medical supplies and aid material was exhausted. Fittingly, after long 2 long voyages that took place over six weeks, the Mikumba’s last gesture was to paddle the last two canoes to shore at sunset.

As our empty dinghy pulled away from the beach in the dying light. our crew’s last sight was a small boy heading into the jungle, a new soccer ball and a machete under one arm, his other raised high in final salute.

During the fourteen day period of the Mikumba’s second voyage, the Sumatra SurfZone Relief Operation distributed 16 dugout canoes complete with nets and fishing supplies, 25 tons of food, water, building materials and aid, several live chickens and goats, evacuated one critical patient for emergency care and held 126 hours of emergency medical clinics reaching over 4000 people spread over 11 separate villages.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Back to Aceh Recovery


IDEP Aceh Recovery Update #8
Thursday, January 6, 2005 4:36 AM
The following is an excerpt from one of our regular updates which were designed to enlist support and increase the coordination of relief efforts for the survivors of the Tsunami in Aceh & North Sumatra.
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ACEH AID AT IDEP | MORE NEWS IN BRIEF | COMMUNITY-BASED CRISIS RESPONSE KIT | INDEX OF UPDATES


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Aceh Aid at IDEP
Aceh Aid at IDEP is a two-pronged initiative to bring appropriate aid directly to affected communities in Sumatra. IDEP, in cooperation with Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) / Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), is helping mobilize emergency supplies in Medan for delivery in Aceh Province. In cooperation with the Indonesian surfing community, IDEP is mobilizing and delivering aid to the hard-hit, remote islands south and west of Padang.

On January 4, a fully loaded 200 ton cargo vessel leased by AUSaid and supplied by AAAI departed Padang. It is offloading carefully selected supplies including specially packed buckets designed to help survivors build simple shelters and stay in their communities. The boat also carries equipment to make communities self sufficient in water supplies. These supplies are being offloaded to smaller craft and then handed directly to the survivors of small, isolated communities. As of January 5, AAAI has channelled about Rp 600,000,000 in donor funding into this initiative. Financial specialists on the ground in Medan and Bali are consolidating data to ensure full transparency. The Ferry is now at the island of Nias networking with smaller vessels to ferry aid and technical support back and forth to the areas in most need. In many coastal fishing towns, most of the men were killed while working on the beach or on their boats; only women and children survive. Needs on the ground change on a daily basis. Severe nutritional deficiency is already an issue after 10 days.



Very special thanks and Kudos to Chris & Christina who have opened up their home / hotel as the hub for relief aid activities in the area. Chris has been the chief scout and guide for the expedition to date. See : http://www.sumatransurfariis.com/quakeupdatesnew1230.html for details and photos.

Now we are responding to reports of serious nutritional deficiencies, and AAAI is focusing on buying fresh fruit and vegetables for rapid delivery to affected communities on the Sumatra coast and islands. Lee our Project Coordinator, is leaving Padang on the 7th and working together with IDEP’s community programs coordinator Samantha Sinclair who cut her Christmas vacation short and has arrived from Australia to take over his coordinative role on the ground in Padang. Robert Wilson from Rip Curl is arriving in Padang today to assist with coordinating the flow of support and activities as well.

Aid is being delivered as follows : Each family bucket contains essential food, health, sanitation, emergency shelter, and personal care items. These are branded goods which local people are familiar with, and can put to use immediately without any intermediation whatsoever. They were purchased in local shops by our volunteers and supporters in the community, locally, and are therefore labeled in the Indonesian language.

One in every five buckets is a “leader pack,” and its contents include a one-inch chisel, a hatchet/hammer, a shovel, a handsaw, a crowbar, nails, and other supplies.
One in every ten buckets is a “heavy leader pack,” which also includes a two-man saw and a sledge hammer.
The aid vessel is also carrying hundreds of 20 liter jerry cans.

The boat is also carrying two complete kits for drilling wells, and all the equipment need to pump-clear and restore existing wells which are tainted with sea water from the tsunami. These sets of equipment, which include powered and hand pumps, and piping, are are being used in local villages to repair and complete wells. Once the A.A.A.I. volunteers have demonstrated the process to members of stricken communities in this way, they will be able to make hundreds of wells themselves. Standard 350 liter water tanks for storage and treatment have been delivered, along with 50 kilos of chlorine. The team is still short of the certain types of water treatment chemicals, which we were not able to arrange to deliver from Singapore, due to depletion of funds and priority allocations as described above.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

KM Batavia is heading towards Simeulue after departing Krueng Raya 0900 this morning. We have a 15 person medical team on board plus over 120 tons of tents, water, food, tarps, lumber, fixings and tools essential in an emergency situation. Please let me know if we can help any communities where the aid is not getting in. We dont need a port and can land 20-30 tons of aid a day using 4 beach skiffs capable of carrying over one ton each. We have motor bikes and 3 wheelers to reach inland villages.
Rick Cameron
http://www.electriclamb.org
rick@electriclamb.org
+873 763 931 644

3:00 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

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BATAVIA PUSHING SOUTH
news from the batavia 4/4

We are powering through heavy swell on our way south to Sinabang. Last night our compliment of 41 volunteers jumped in and helped load 130 tons of aid material and medical supplies. The last truck was cleared at 7am this morning. We are now very well equipped and our 15 strong medical team is freshly stocked with 2 IDA kits (10,000 person capacity)

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BATAVIA LEAVING BANDA ACEH FOR SIMEULUE, BANYAKS & NIAS AREA
news from the batavia 3/4



In response to the massive quake damage in the Simeulue/banyaks and Nias area, Batavia has been chartered by the newly formed Australian Indonesian Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (Aus Aid). Loading commenced in Sabang on April 1st with 5 tons of supplies of food and medicine contributed by Global Sihks, Waves of Mercy & Vidat Padma (Italian backed local NGO)

KM Batavia departed Sabang yesterday to load additional supplies in Krueng Raya 45 minutes East of Banda Aceh. On route to the port are 650 tents , 40 tons of food, water (Obor Berkat & WFP) and and extensive list of emergency equipment provided by AIPRD / Aus Aid .

WHO have supplemented existing medical supplies with a 1 ton IDA medical kit and we will also deliver a 1 ton IDA supplementary kit to Sinabang hospital on their behalf. Final loading will be complete today with departure scheduled for this evening.

Obor Berkat and North West Medical have joined with medical teams totaling 4 GPs and one surgeon plus a medical support team of 15. The medical team is also backed up by 20 other aid workers with experience on the NW Aceh coast. Project Concern, Obor Berkat and PADHI are all providing support staff who can play a dual role to support emergency work or supervise distribution of food, water and shelter aid.

After dropping the urgently needed WHO supplies in Sinabang the Batavia will proceed to villages and towns along the coast of Simeulue to assist in areas beyond the reach of conventional shipping and aircraft support.

On board are 4 fast beach landing boats capable of carrying over 1 ton of supplies or people ashore to river mouths and sheltered beaches and landing them where conventional methods can not be contemplated. Based on our 2 months experience in NW Aceh, the most effective way to distribute aid is by using the beach landing boats combined with sidecar motorcycles and trail bikes to carry medical teams and emergency supplies ashore and then inland to villages in the mountains or along sections of coast where landing is impossible. In this way we can bring aid to villages and towns in a 15km radius of our mother ship. We can also link up with other aid boats in the area to resupply them and so extend the reach of aid over a much larger area.

Emergency equipment on board includes: chainsaws, boltcutters, sledge hammers, stone chisels, grinders, jacks, tripods, generators, power pumps, ropes, chainblocks and a full complement of hand tools.

A 5 ton per day watermaker will be used to fill jerry cans to distribute in areas where drinking water is contaminated.

Lumber, tarps, roofing iron and nails will be distributed to establish shelter to complement 5 person tents. Cooking sets, hygiene sets will complement food rations. Any NGOs already in the area will be fully supported and entrusted to distribute the aid efficiently and women and children will receive aid on a priority basis. Handtools will be prepacked into bundles designed for both emergency work and for the preparation of shelter. In all cases we will seek out community leaders to ensure that aid is distributed fairly and without gender bias.

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MOVING SOUTH?
news from the batavia 3/4


A 5.6 quake hit at 3am this morning and its location may indicate that the fault line is unzipping faster than anyone expected.
This trend was raised at an OCHA meeting yesterday in Banda Aceh. OCHA pushing this issue with Government agencies but there has not been any concrete action yet. How long do we have before the next big one? Are Padang, the Batus and the Mentawai Islands prepared? Our partner Bangun has just reported that Mentawai villages have cleared paths to the nearest high ground but Padang city has a road system that runs North South along the coast and the seabed profile and low hinterland make it particularly vulnerable to a tsumami. It is now clear that last weeks mega quake in the Banyaks did generate a tsunami and parts of West and South Nias were severely damaged. The location of the epicenter outside the shallows around the Banyaks saved the Sumatra coast line but next time we may not be so fortunate.
STOP PRESS 6.1 HAS JUST HIT THE SAME AREA NEAR TELOS 7am (map not yet avail)



2005/04/01 20:32 M 5.6 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA Z= 30km 0.40N 98.09E

This information is provided by the USGS
National Earthquake Information Center.
(Address problems to: sedas@ghtmail.cr.usgs.gov)

These parameters are preliminary and subject to revision.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake IN THE NIAS REGION, INDONESIA has occurred at:
0.40N 98.09E Depth 30km Fri Apr 1 20:32:38 2005 UTC

Time: Universal Time (UTC) Fri Apr 1 20:32:38 2005
Time Near Epicenter Sat Apr 2 03:32:38 2005

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PATTERN EMERGING?
news from the batavia 30/3

As the plates let go further South the question arises.... will the fault line let go all the way down the island chain. The experts say it will and after this latest quake it could be sooner rather than later. Maybe it is time for some proactive action to protect communities in the Telos (Batu) Islands, Siberut and the rest of the Mentawais. The image below shows how extensive this latest shift has been in the Simeulue and Nias area. Will the movement keep going south? How long before the next part of the fault line lets go?

Kerry Sieh, professor of geology at California Institute of Technology, has been studying the region for nearly a decade.
Last July he became so concerned at the likely massive loss of life that he printed and distributed 5,000 posters and brochures around some of the islands later hit by the earthquake.

He addressed church congregations and schools to tell people what to do in an earthquake. His main advice was for people to live away from shorelines...... (from timesonline)

Read the full article - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,18690-1422669,00.html



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QUAKE UPDATE
news from the batavia 30/3

Gunung Sitoli port and airfield were damaged but they have been patched up and can handle light traffic now.

3m high ocean surge hit Singkil port and many homes and buildings have been damaged by the quake.

Tidal surges reported in Padang but no damage.

Banyak Islands & south end of Simeulue reported as having been uplifted by 3m (unconfirmed)

All houses on Hinako islands have been destroyed.

Nias has a population of over 600,000 with many hundreds of villages inland. The population is mostly involved in subsistence agriculture, most forest has been cleared and the area suffers from regular floods and epidemics. Malaria is endemic and very wide spread.

Simeulue has over 60,000 people and the largest town, Sinabang has been reported as very heavily damaged.

Death toll now likely to be lower than at first expected. Around 500 are injured.


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UPDATE FROM SABANG:
news from the batavia 30/3

Late last night the team felt the rumble of the magnitude 8.7 earthquake while aboard Batavia alongside in the port of Sabang. The effects of the quake were unclear to the group until early this morning. Phil, Deal, and Mike were aboard the Batavia during the quake while fellow team member Marshall was in Banda Aceh in meetings and the team could not contact him after the quake.. After a few anxious hours, a message made it through to the ship. Marshal was safe but he spent a sleepless night along with the entire population of Banda Aceh city.


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MASSIVE QUAKE HITS BANYAKS, NIAS & SIMEULUE
news from the batavia

A mega quake has caused extensive damage on Nias with up to 75% of the
main town Gunung Sitoli reported as suffering heavy damage. The death
toll is rising with latest estimates between 1,000 and 2,000 but the
dispersed population and difficult terrain make these numbers very
unreliable.

Obor Berkat is flying a chopper and a fixed wing to Nias now to try to
evaluate medical needs and other requirements. We are working on tents
and shelter requirements. (Batavia and crew are safe in Sabang)

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Rick on BATAVIA said...

LATEST NEWS + UPDATES
from the ELECTRIC LAMB MISSION in west sumatra

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BATAVIA Sitrep for 04/05 April, 2005
07 April, 2005


General Comments:
After departing Krueng Raya volunteers spent a lot of time repacking aid material that arrived at Krueng Raya wet. Rain on the trip from Medan caused some delays and the last trucks arrived in the late afternoon. We had to load everything by hand and the dock workers went home at 1800. Last 30 tons of food and fuel in drums all loaded by volunteers. We worked all night and completed at dawn so everyone exhausted. Heavy swell after leaving BA and entering Indian Ocean made admin work impossible while underway. We had to secure computers and equipment on top deck. Work focused on building shelving for medical supplies and finishing installation of the watermaker.

SITUATION REPORT
Visit Pulau Raya 04 April 05. (to pick up ships speedboats left on the island after our last mission to the area)

Arrived 1700hrs, and sent one speedboat to Lho Kruet with team and one to the island.
FIELD NOTES
-Oxfam are offering cash for work to Pulau Raya residents without on-site supervision. Administration is from Lam No. Now 62 people on Pulau Raya (up from about 30) as a result of this and for the first time there are women and kids present. The atmosphere is totally different.
-Fishing is not good at the moment due to rough seas and cloudy water so one of the bagans has been dragged ashore to salvage useable parts as it was sinking. They need a chainblock to do the refurbishing work. Some work has started on the 10 bagans we have distributed materials for to date.
-Govt has announced that they will not rebuild the school on PR so the people have no choice but to join with other villages and move to the mainland to qualify for a permanent house. They are not sure how to make this work with their fishing lifestyle but don’t want to miss out on a permanent house buy insisting on rehabilitating the island. They agree that moving to the top of the hill South of Lho Kruet will take many months and maybe years to resolve given the state of the local administration and the lack of ground water on site.
-Everyone in the area felt the 28th March Banyaks quake but they did not run to the hills. There was high water the morning after the quake but not enough to worry anyone.
-After hearing about our destination, Pak Isa offered us his sledge hammers and bolt cutters to take to Nias/Simeulue and the locals all seemed very supportive of our mission to help there. They asked lots of questions about the conditions in Nias. We promised to replace the tools.
-Pak Isa has finished the shell of his house but his wife is pregnant and will remain in Lam No. Many other islanders are in a similar situation. The women don’t want to return to villages to live in tents without schools and health care.
-Army engineers have moved from the peninsular and left the area.
-No aid trucks have made it to Lho Kruet down the coast road yet. It is considered too risky after several incidents involving rebels inland from Ligan. TNI continue to use the road.
-In Lho Kruet, the womens bathing area started by ELM volunteers Phil, Deal and Lian has been completed under OB cash for work and it is working very well.
-Main water supply (installed by ELM volunteer Marty) is working well.
-The tent school now has a floor and rough salvage wood chairs and desks. The teacher welcomed ELM volunteer Julie back and asked when she could resume English lessons.
-We dropped off one 25lt jerry can of petrol and one of kerosene from OB stock on board. Food is ok with deliveries from WFP via heavy lift chopper.
-Medical needs are well taken care of by OB staff in Lho Kruet. We re-supplied the camp stock of medicines and infuse.
-While shore parties made quick evaluations, we deployed our landing boom and boarded 2 of our beach landing boats left on Pulau Raya last trip. The landing boat we left to service OB in Lho Kruet was disabled after a TNI wood boat moored to close and smashed the prop at the dock. Next time the boat and driver will stay on Pulau Raya at night. We replaced the damaged prop and boarded our 2 remaining boats.
-Departed Pulau Raya at 2030 on 4th April to proceed to Sinabang.

BATAVIA Sitrep Sinabang (Simeulue) 05APR05

Steamed at 10.5 knots all night and seas gradually moderating as we move into the protection of Simeulue island.

1430 Approached Sinabang harbor with caution. Tried to raise KM Mauli and the harbormaster on VHF 16. No reply. Navigation marks are damaged and some missing.

Observed drying reef everywhere with huge coral heads bleaching in the sun. Area is confirmed to have risen 1.65m at the airport in the center of the island. West coast has been reported as up to 3m and east coast looks more like 1m but hard to tell without tide info.

1550 Anchor Down. Launched one boat to take Team reps ashore. Pk Hasbi Machmud, Deputy Head of Simeulue parliament boarded with a local shipping agent to assist. Harbormaster office not functioning full time. Wharf congested and no space for us to unload. Problem caused by subsidence of the concrete pier and everything must be unloaded by hand so boats are alongside for long periods. We were asked to report to Bupati.

Note: Pasti satphones are out all day. Heard that the service was criticized in the Jakarta press. Most Govt authorities rely on Pasti system. No handphone service in Sinabang but the Telkom flexi system is working in some areas.

Met Bupati, SecDaerah and Wakil Bupati. Have population data and areas of concern. Roads on West Coast impassable for next several months by trucks or vans. Roads damaged and all bridges are 0.5 to one meter above road surface need fill and resurfacing but motorbikes can be lifted over obstacles. Bridge at Dihit is destroyed and there is a pontoon for river crossings. Power lines are down creating hazards. Difficult to carry supplies into this area. The area around Kampung Aie has 14 villages and total population is 9463 with 1930 families. Many buildings survived the tsunami but have now been destroyed or damaged beyond use by the quake. UN overflight yesterday but no-one clear on specific villages.

A 3m tsunami hit the west and south coast of Simeulue after the quake but damage has not been assessed yet. People are living on high ground and drinking/bathing water is a big problem for all. Rubble clean up in Sinabang is underway but will require a big labor force.

ELM volunteer Emmanuel was taking photos in the shell of Sinabang’s recently commissioned (just pre-tsunami) hospital when an aftershock hit. A door collapsed as he ran from the building giving him a nasty fright. The hospital is not safe and despite optimism of local authorities it may not be repairable. It has been abandoned and SMF are assisting by providing a tent clinic in the hospital grounds.

There is real danger of injuries during after-shocks as most standing buildings are very badly damaged. Even wooden buildings are leaning and have been wracked to the point of being dangerous. Some residents are insisting on living in damaged houses fearing looting and this could lead to serious injuries or deaths as quakes continue on a daily basis.

Bupati and his team visit Batavia and we explain our ability to distribute aid to areas cut off by road and bridge damage. Bupati agrees to waive requirement for all aid to enter Simeulue via “one gate” ie Sinabang harbor.

We are now authorized to distribute aid direct to villages but must report on locations, type of aid and dates to coordinate with others. Bupati worried about the Simeuleu Tengah sub district as they cant be reached by road and no NGOs or agencies have visited the area since the quake. Reports from the area are not good. Many buildings were spared by the Dec 26th quake and tsunami but now most buildings have been destroyed. 1,870 families are now displaced and there is an urgent need for tents and water. The Bupati is worried that many people may be injured but unable to reach Sinabang for treatment. He sited several people with serious fractures who were found in tents not far from Sinabang yesterday. They were worried about paying for medical help and so had used traditional splints and medicine and stayed in their tents. SAI doctors have reported cases of severe infection and gangrene being discovered by roving medics in the field.

Our medical team visited the hospital and the tent clinic. Only 8 patients observed and none in critical condition. The hospital administrator stated that they did not need our WHO supplies and suggested we attend the medical coordination meeting 0800 on the 6th to discuss the delivery. Team could not locate the WHO representative.

Simon from SAI arrived to borrow our satphone and after his 2 hour sit report was complete we discussed the best way to work together in the area. No sooner typed these words and the ship shudders and jolts with another aftershock. Will check to see where these two quakes occurred.

While I met with SAI team on Nauli, ELM volunteers Phill and Ali attended a coordination meeting at the Bupati’s office. Many NGOs requested tents from us. WFP rep Emma expressed concern that we are not proceeding to Nias to drop our 20 tons of food. Our team explain our WHO request to deliver medical supplies to Sinabang and need for tents here and all understood. 300 tons of WFP food will arrive on 6th in Sinabang and so our stock can be used for distribution to the West Coast. This food will then be replaced in Sinabang for delivery to other areas of concern. This may avoid the need for heavy lift helicopters to access the West coast.

Emma from WHO requests we medivac a 4yo child with head swelling and leakage to US Mercy ship. We contact Mercy and they confirm their location should this need arise.

We can not secure dock space and so have started unloading with our speedboats. We will drop tents and the bulk of the aid designated for Save the Children in Sinabang.

This aid includes:
Wheelbarrows
Tarps
Pickaxe
Mattock with handle
Shovels
Detol soap
Childrens recreation kit
Floor mats

Save the Children will leave soap, Childrens recreational kits and tarps for us to distribute to areas where they have not been able to reach.

Tomorrow will then proceed to the Kampung Aie area to drop supplies.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
The town streets seemed busy but most of the activity seemed to be people moving material from the port and up to the camps on higher ground. Very few houses show signs of recent use. The Bupati says that most people on the island are now living in the hills or at least on high ground. After the big quake on the 28th they saw the waters recede exposing big areas of reef. That was enough to convince everyone that a tsunami was on the way and in fact the West and South coasts experienced quite strong surges of up to 3m in height. The fact that the waters receded and have not returned has caused a lot of anxiety among the people here. They feel like they are in a suspended action tsunami that could come at any time.

The island is mountainous and most people were already camped on high ground in tents so the death toll was quite small. Just as in Nias, multistory concrete buildings have pancaked and that is where most of the 21 deaths occurred. Population of Simeulue about 10% that of Nias and so there were just a lot fewer major concrete structures in the towns. Timber buildings have been badly damaged and a large section of town burned down after the quake but we believe that the vast majority of deaths were in concrete structures. A big factor is that most people believe that worse is yet to come as a result of local media.

About a week before the quake Metro TV ran a story that quoted a CNN interview during which a US (or Australian)? seismologist predicted a major quake on the 26th of March. The Bupati told us that at the time he made a public statement stating that the prediction was nonsense. Two days later the big quake hit and now everyone is picking up on stories and rumors that are given added emphasis with every aftershock.

Metro TV have broadcast a story that a new mega quake will strike the Mentawais between the 4th and the 7th of April and the population on Simuelue is convinced that it will happen. The prediction is supposedly based on an interview aired on ABC & CNN last week during which a seismologist claimed to have data supporting his prediction.

The Bupati just shrugged his shoulders and said: “the people won’t listen to me if I say the danger is past. I was wrong about the last prediction and now I have to take the new warning seriously”

Surf Aid is reporting panic and the risk of crowds boarding in Gunung Sitolli wanting to vacate the island. Many Nias people reported to think that the island is going to sink. The Mentawais are experiencing a mass exodus with ferries running full every day. Padang is experiencing panics almost every night. Bupati has heard about this situation. (My Padang and Mentawai volunteers very worried)

--------------------------------------------------------------------
KM Batavia SITREP
05 April, 2005

Completed loading 0700, O4 April and departed Krueng Raya 0900.
Arrived Pulau Raya 1745 to retrieve 3 beach landing boats and to check on conditions in Lho Kruet (our primary area for support/relief aid the past 2 months)
Loaded beach boats and depared Pulau Raya 2030.
Heavy swell and considerable amount of floating debris in this area.
Steamed all night with extra lookout due to concerns re: debris

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

All, Batavia currently anchored at Pulau Tepak on the South coast of Simeulue. Just completed a medical clinic on the island. Treated 159 but no life threatening problems. Radical uplift in this area. Estimate 2+m and so the locals think that the ocean has receeded the way it does before a tsunami... and now they are waiting for it to hit. What can we tell them? Run when it shakes.
More on todays activities in next sitrep.

Have 500+ tents (family type) 2,500 family packs, bottled water, cooking sets, lamps & kero, diesel and petrol, motor bikes, helicaks (3wheel sidecar bikes), chainsaws and emergency gear, 15 person medical team incl surgeon, IDA drug kits, assorted rice, food supplies, tarps, hygiene kits and more. Can deliver to beaches with 4 x 6.2m PE fast skiffs capacity 1 ton each.

Have big job to do here as very little help reaching the west coast but ready to move to Nias area if any area is in crisis. Need more feedback on conditions inland and south Nias ditto north Nias. Are roads open to all areas? Rick www.electriclamb.org

BATAVIA SITUATION REPORT
Wed 6th April, 2005
Medical team second visit to the Sinabang Hospital.
Surgical Kit from WHO is not urgently needed but they have space to store it in the tents. 10,000 person IDA medical kit should remain aboard as they have no space and have already received several kits. Will clear this with WHO BA.

Request from the Head of Dinas Kesehatan, Dr Tagwallah for Batavia to support medical assessment and field clinics in the following Subregions:
Teupah Barat, 18 villages 1,597 families 6951 population
Simeulue Tengah, 24 villages 2,211 families 9431 population
Salang, 16 villages 1,718 villages 7,912 population
Totals 58 villages 5,526 families 24,294 population

Only the southern 9 villages in Teupah Barat have received any medical help since the quake on the 28th March. Some non-medical assessment teams have reached the central coast on motorbike and report IDPs are all in hills and some have fractures and injuries that are not being treated.

Dr Tagwallah later met with the BUPATI, Drs Darmili and arranged for a formal letter approving our mission to the West Coast areas defined above.



Save the Children took delivery of own material sent from Banda Aceh stores :
This aid includes:
140 Wheelbarrows
81 Tarps
300 Pickaxe
300 Mattock
600 Handle
300 Shovels
150 Boxes Detol soap
40 Childrens recreation kit
67 Floor mats.

Save the Children then re-assigned the following material for ELM to distribute to the West coast villages we are planning to visit. Material assigned:
3 Recreational Kits
18 Tarps
90 Boxes Detol soap (damaged by rain before loading Kurent Raya)

ELM assigned 25 PCI tents to Save the Children for distribution in Sinabang township.

OB, MPI & NWM Medical teams visited IDP camps on hill tops around town. General conclusions are:
- Health and nutrition generally adequate.
- Shelter issues are directly related to fear of a predicted tsunami.
- A proportion of wooden houses are repairable or habitable but the trauma of the quake will keep people from returning. April 19th has been quoted as a date after which people might return to their house. No one can say why that date is significant.
- Surviving masonry houses and structures are unsafe. Reinforced concrete beams and columns are damaged beyond repair at corners, post/beam intersections and cement block wall infill is cracked and unstable. Aftershocks are causing panels of masonry to fall and this will continue. These buildings must be demolished and that is a huge and dangerous task.
- The perception that the ocean has receded is the cause of great fear. It is very hard to explain the difference between what has happened on the 28th of March and what happened on the 26th of December. The Simeulue people have a strong oral tradition that dictates quake and tsunami response. This tradition is based on a catastrophic tsunami in 1907 that killed many thousands on the island. The reason that the Dec 26th death toll was so low in Simeulue is a direct result of this oral tradition or adat and now it is the reason that village people refuse to return to their villages and houses near the shoreline. See this as a major problem for health and relief workers to deal with.Tthe fact that the population were better prepared to deal with both the quakes and the tsunami has resulted in far lower death toll than on Nias. Damage to infrastructure in non-urban areas is very serious in Simeulue.

Attended UN coordination meeting at Save the Children tent.
- Telkomsel service has resumed (no Mentari)
- SMAK have resumed flights to Simeulue twice per day.(unless it rains)
- WFP 300tons of food will arrive 7th April (confirmed in port)
-Irish seismological stories are being taken seriously by all and emergency measures in place for all NGOs to evacuate to high ground.
- Several long span bridges are down in Alafan, Salang and at Dihit?
- CARE Water treatment equipment has arrived but no technicians avail to install yet. Hopefully tomorrow.
- General concern about West Coast area as no health work or supplies to that area since the quake.

NWM team examined the 4yo with the swollen head and determined that the child needed scanning and a shunt to drain pressure from cranial cavity. Beyond any facilities in Sinabang and not appropriate for US Mercy. Child will require a long period of outpatient monitoring and possibly a long initial observation period after the shunt is fitted and this all best done in Medan or other larger hospital. Decision should be made by the main hospital. Not a life threatening condition.

Surf Aid International took delivery of 20 PCI tents for distribution to North Simeulue villages.

Following a formal request by PEMDA, SATKORLAK took delivery of 25 CARE tents for distribution in Sinabang. A request for wheelbarrows and shovels was referred to Save the Children as they have a large stock and intend to support cleanup work in the town.

We experienced several strong aftershocks that shook the ship and caused wave action in the harbor basin

April 8th

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Rick on batavia said...

(I'll post pix later - birdie)
This image might help understand what these communities are so worried about. The
shot was taken late afternoon at high tide at Pulau Tepak (south Simulue). Previously
high tide would lap at the foundations of the house at the tree line.

This is now the new coastline and beach landings are much more difficult than before.
These people have been through a 3-5m tsunami and now this. Nias is suffering for
sure but this is extraordinary. Every concrete structure that is still standing
will now have to be demolished by hand. 50-60% of timber buildings are not repairable.
Unfortunately the Bupati told everyone that the predictions of a big quake on or
about the 26th of March were baseless... so he feels he cant speak out in the face
of new "predictions" being circulated.

We are talking to everyone we meet but I have to admit that seeing all this and
feeling the aftershocks shake the boat makes me wonder if we are past the worst
of this huge adjustment. People are leaving the Mentawais in big numbers out of
fear that they are next and I wish we could be there to help them to deal with this
in other ways. Rick

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Surf AId International said...

SurfAid's Humanitarian Response in Sumatra (Report #9)

April 7, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 9

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA_| THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATERA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH

OVERALL SITUATION

SurfAid International consolidated its new operational and logistics base in Sirombu on the Nias west coast today, moving emergency supplies ashore to a new warehouse. The supplies of rice, noodles, water, high-energy biscuits and insecticide-treated mosquito nets along with medical supplies will be distributed throughout the Sirombu district over the coming week.

The transportation of relief supplies from boats to the coastline is virtually impossible without a tender. The wharf at Sirombu has been comprehensively damaged and landing craft are ineffectual due the dramatic rise in the reef. A large cargo ship arrived in Sirombu today with rice supplies but has as yet been unable to land its cargo.

The reef on the west coast of Nias has risen by up to 2m in places.

Forty percent of SurfAid’s current emergency supplies were offloaded onto the Equator Mermaid charter ship which will conduct distributions to all villages on the west coast between Sirombu and Afulu to the north. The SurfAid emergency team will be supported by the 9m RIB semi-inflatable speed boat donated by British Health NGO Merlin International. The RIB will make sorties into villages along the coast carrying emergency supplies and identifying the need for further medical interventions.

A SurfAid emergency team today left the Simeulue Island capital of Sinabang for the north-east coast carrying emergency supplies including rice, water, tents, tarpaulins and medical kits.

SurfAid/AusAid emergency personnel now numbers more than 30 and includes doctors, paramedics, nurses, engineers, community facilitators, logisticians and team coordinators.

SurfAid currently has six boats and one helicopter operating in the earthquake affected regions off the west coast of Sumatera. The helicopter will be chartered for another five days. It has provided logistical support enabling SurfAid medical teams to be dropped into remote villages in south and west Nias.

SurfAid International's major funding is provided by AusAID, nzaid and surf apparel companies Quiksilver and Billabong.

NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+_The charter boat Asia is due to take over as the SurfAid logistics command post in Gunung Sitoli. Asia will depart Padang, West Sumatera, for Gunung Sitloi tomorrow (April 8) and will replace the Sjarali.

+ The vessel has an experienced crew with expert knowledge of Nias. At night it will provide accommodation for humanitarian staff.

Teluk Dalam

+ A SurfAid/AusAid medical team from the Katika was dropped by helicopter into the remote village of Hiliotalua where three more critical cases were identified for medical evacuations. The three villagers – suffering fractured fema, spinal fracture and facial fracture – were airlifted out by a UN helicopter.

+_A two member SurfAid team continues to work in the South Nias region collecting data on health clinics.

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

+ SurfAid unloaded the remaining cargo aboard the Hendri Sarina today. 60% is now stored in a new warehouse at Sirombu. The remaining 40% will be delivered by the Equator Mermaid along the north-west coast of Nias.

+ A SurfAid medical team will make a two-day assessment in the Lahewa District. The team was dropped by helicopter into Lasarasaga village and will continue to neighbouring villages tomorrow by foot.

+ SurfAid continues to assess the remote villages of the Sirombu district with a third medical team today visiting Sisisoas village.

+ SurfAid has donated emergency supplies of dressings and bandages to the Sirombu Puskesmas (District Health Clinic).

+ Over the past two days, SurfAid has visited the islands of Asu and Bawa. There are 37 families remaining on Asu Island, while the rest of the population has fled to neighbouring Hinako Island. SurfAid has distributed tarpaulins to each family, 250kg of rice and water.

+ On Bawa Island, SurfAid has distributed four boxes of tarpaulins, water and 180kg of rice.

+ SurfAid assessments reveal there is no water left on both Asu and Bawa Islands. The wells have dried up completely as a result of the reef rising 1.5m.

+ A new 60-tonne cargo ship will leave Sibolga for Sirombu on Saturday. The ship will be carrying grass mats, water, infants’ milk, biscuits, medical supplies, generator sets and construction equipment such as jack-hammers.

+_A SurfAid engineer will assess the Sirombu wharf for emergency repairs.
Afulu - Northwest Nias

+ The Equator Mermaid and the Merlin RIB support boat will travel north to Afulu tomorrow with plans to visit every coastal hamlet north of Sirombu to deliver emergency supplies and conduct medical clinics.

Response Data: SurfAid International
April 1 – 6, 2005

SurfAid medical teams have treated 188 patients in South Nias over a six day period.

Complaints:

Broken/fractured bones; lacerations; wounds; secondary infected wounds.

Fractures:
Fractured fema – 7
Fractured pelvis – 7
Fractured spine – 4
Lower limb – 1
Elbow – 1
Lower arm – 3
Fractured ribs – 4
Finger/hand – 1
Fractured foot – 1
Fractured facial bones – 1

Evacuations:
SurfAid have identified 22 cases for medical evacuation with 19 confirmed evacuations and 3 currently being planned.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+_The SurfAid team in Simeulue has distributed WHO medical supplies to the local Indonesian Red Cross.

+_The team left for the north-east of the island to conduct emergency distributions. The charter boat Nauli is carrying rice, water, tarpaulins and tents donated by the Rick Cameron-operated vessel Batavia.

+_A WFP 300-tonne ship arrived in Sinabang this morning. They plan to distribute rice to Teluk Dalam (27.2 tonnes), Simeulue Barat (54 tonnes), Alafan and Salang (23 tons), Simeulue Tengah and Teupah Barat (40 tons)

+_UNICEF will assist with water and sanitation needs in Sinabang. Concern offloaded a 20-tonne water tanker today.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid is planning to return to the Banyak islands to conduct a round of mobile clinics in each village, focusing on measles immunizations, malaria control and nutritional supplementation for children.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous SurfAid said...

April 6, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 8

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA | THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATERA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH
OVERALL SITUATION

SurfAid International medical teams surveyed the west coast of Nias today, sending medical teams into villages and distributing basic emergency supplies such as rice, water and tarpaulins.

The team aboard the charter boat Equator Mermaid sailed south from Afulu, while the second emergency team aboard the Katika sailed north from Teluk Dalam. The two teams rendezvoused in Sirombu.

There was no need for medical evacuations today and the medical teams mainly treated patients for wounds and secondary infections.

Food supplies (rice) are reported to be critically low in the isolated villages along the west coast of Nias.

SurfAid plans to establish an operating base in Sirombu and latest reports indicate that the road is now open between Gunung Sitoli in the east and Sirombu in the west which will enable SurfAid to truck emergency supplies across the island.

The wharf at Sirombu has been destroyed which hampers the possibility of large cargo drops.

Meanwhile, the emergency team in Simeulue Island, Aceh, is preparing to travel up along the east coast of the island to the isolated districts of Simeulue Barat, Alafan and Salang. The team is preparing simple emergency medical kits for villages, and will also distribute stocks of rice, water and tarpaulins.

SurfAid/AusAid emergency personnel now numbers more than 30 and includes doctors, paramedics, nurses, engineers, community facilitators, logisticians and team coordinators.

SurfAid currently has seven boats and one helicopter operating in the earthquake affected regions off the west coast of Sumatera, including support craft and a vessel chartered by volunteer doctors from the Surfing Medical Association (SMA).

A 60-tonne refueling barge is currently on its way from Padang in West Sumatera.

SurfAid International's major funding is provided by AusAID, nzaid and surf apparel companies Quiksilver and Billabong.

SURFAID RESPONSE

SurfAid currently has seven boats and one helicopter operating in the earthquake affected region off the west coast of Sumatera, including support craft and a vessel chartered by volunteer doctors from the Surfing Medical Association (SMA). A refueling barge is currently on its way from Padang in West Sumatera to assist the flotilla.

SurfAid is currently focusing on emergency medical response and life-saving distributions of food, water and shelter. The first SurfAid vessel, the Saranya, was mobilized
out of Sibolga to the Nias capital of Gunung Sitoli on March 29.

In Nias, SurfAid now has boats and emergency medical teams covering the south coast, the capital Gunung Sitoli and the north-east coast, the north-west coast and the west coast and Hinako Islands.

The Nias operation is also supported by a nzaid-funded helicopter and a RIB semi-rigid inflatable speed boat donated by British health NGO Merlin International. This support enables SurfAid teams to access the most isolated regions of the island.

Another boat and medical team is currently active in Simeulue Island, Aceh, following an assessment and distributions in the Banyak Islands.

SurfAid International's major funding is provided by AusAID, nzaid and surf apparel companies Quiksilver and Billabong.

NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+ The Sjarali is now in Gunung Sitoli where it has taken over from Saranya as a floating hotel and is providing support for SurfAid/AusAID teams operating in the area. It is carrying fresh vegetables, tarps, water and AusAID-donated ration packs.

+ A report from the Saranya which has been working out of Gunung Sitoli for the past week says that there are still many hamlets which have not received aid or medical assistance. The Gunung Sitoli team aboard the boat Sjarali will now focus on these areas. Many of these areas are only accessible by foot.

+ Main needs include tents/tarpaulins, blankets and rice.

+ Landing sites for boats north of Gunung Sitloi are difficult to gauge because the land has risen considerably. Fishermen have complained that they are unable to fish because the coral reefs have risen.

+ British health NGO Merlin International has agreed to fund a boat for Gunung Sitoli. The vessel will be used carry teams to areas north of the Nias capital and at night will act as a floating hotel for humanitarian staff.

Teluk Dalam

+ The Katika sailed north to Sirombu on the west coast early this morning.

+ A two-member data collection team has remained in the South Nias region to conduct an extensive survey of health clinics (Puskesmas/Pustu/Polindes) in the various districts.

+ The Hendri Sabina cargo vessel delivered rice, water and tarpaulins to villages in the Lagundri Bay area.

+ This team identified a lot of asbestos amongst the destroyed houses and has recommended that the asbestos should be cleared as a matter of priority to avoid it leaching into the water table.

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

+ Distributions of rice, water and shelter items were handed out to families on Asu Island, part of Hinako chain of islands off the west coast of Nias.

+ Most critical patients have been airlifted from the Hinako Islands and SurfAid medical teams have been treating wounds and secondary infections.

+ The Equator Mermaid emergency team will head north from Sirombu tomorrow, targeting small isolated communities along the coast.

+ The Katika emergency medical team will assess the Sirombu district before heading south to check on villages that have yet to receive any humanitarian assistance.

+ Sirombu was one of the worst affected areas in Nias following the December 26 tsunami with more than 250 deaths.

+ The recent earthquake claimed another 7 lives.

+ Up to 30% of all homes in the district have been flattened.

+ SurfAid, which has been working in Nias since the December 26 tsunami, will establish an operations and logistics base in Sirombu to address the immediate needs arising from this latest disaster.

Lahewa

+ According to latest figures 31 people have died in Lahewa.

+ The SurfAid team from the Equator Mermaid charter boat traveled inland 15km from Lahewa town. They treated 298 patients in Lafau village, Idanondrawa and Lauru villages and distributed supplies using the RIB to Pure, Luzei and Lafau villages. They also attempted to evacuate two men from Idanondrawa - one with a broken back and head injuries sustained from the earthquake and another with gangrene that predates the earthquake. However problems in Gunung Sitoli with helicopter dispatch meant the evacuation team did not arrived. Evacuation is rescheduled for tomorrow morning (April 5).

+ Data collected by SurfAid shows 146 houses destroyed or badly damaged.

+ The RIB speed boat will be sent to collect stranded surfer Stewart Robinson and a wounded local woman from Bawa.

+ The Equator Mermaid will rendezvous with the Henry Mancini in Sirombu tomorrow (5.4.05). The Henry Mancini charter boat is carrying 12 tons of relief items including ration packs, tarpaulins, high-energy biscuits, water, generator and water pumps.

Afulu - Northwest Nias

+ A medical team from the Equator Mermaid conducted emergency clinics in villages south of Afulu. The team was later picked up by the RIB speed boat to rendezvous with the Equator Mermaid in Sirombu.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+ The SurfAid team in Sinabang is preparing the take the charter boat Nauli up the east coast of Simeulue to areas not accessible by road to conduct assessments and distribute food, water and other relief items.

+ The team will depart on April 7 heading for the northern districts of Simeulue Barat, Alafan and Salang. Relief supplies include 15 x 50kg of rice, 60 containers of water and basic village medical kits.

+ The medical team has conducted field clinics in Sinabang IDP camps. According to SurfAid staff the camps around Sinabang do not have adequate sanitation. There is a need for water purification units and latrines need to be dug.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid is planning to return to the Banyak islands to conduct a round of mobile clinics in each village, focusing on measles immunizations, malaria control and nutritional supplementation for children.

GENERAL

+ Special thanks to all the mariners and local specialists who are helping SurfAid fulfill our mission.

The roll call includes Mark Flint (Rock) a long-term Nias resident and boat operator, boat manager and local expert Mark ‘Moose’ Matthew, boat captain and surf camp owner Brian Williams, Saranya skipper Russell Chandler, Pak Lubis the owner of Mermaid Equator, Steve Pascoe captain/owner of Kartika, Merlin’s Phillip Horne and Alan Bell who have pulled rabbits out of hats at every turn. Also thanks to owner/operator of Mangalui/Saranya Mark Cruyden and Nias expert Mark Shard. All are unstintingly sharing their local knowledge and working round the clock to help SurfAid’s efforts.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous SurfAid said...

April 5, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 7

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA | THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATERA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH
OVERALL SITUATION

SurfAid International today assisted with the medical evacuation of seven critically injured patients from the isolated village of Hiliotalua in the Lolomatua district of South Nias.

The village has been extensively destroyed by the earthquake with 90% of homes and buildings damaged and 100% of the population now living in displacement camps.

SurfAid initially targeted this village after reports of a malaria epidemic. The SurfAid helicopter, funded by nzaid, flew SurfAid emergency medical staff into the village. The chopper also carried a supply of long-life insecticide treated mosquito nets for distribution.

The Sans Souci, a boat chartered by a team of Surfing Medical Association (SMA) doctors, today evacuated stranded Australian surfer Stewart Robinson from Bawa Island off the west coast of Nias.

The SMA doctors held clinics on Hinako and Bawa Islands treating patients with wounds and other minor injuries.

All villages in the south of Nias visited by SurfAid teams have reported food shortages. The villagers say they have not yet received any government assistance.

Rice stocks are now depleted and populations are living on foraged food such as fruit and cassava.

SurfAid International has emergency stocks of rice which will be distributed to high-need villages.

The British Embassy has asked all NGOs for assistance regarding two missing persons. British citizen
Joanne Mouland and her South African partner Colin Kuit were believed to be holidaying in Nias.


SURFAID RESPONSE

SurfAid currently has seven boats and one helicopter operating in the earthquake affected region off the west coast of Sumatera, including support craft and a vessel chartered by volunteer doctors from the Surfing Medical Association (SMA).

A refueling barge is currently on its way from Padang in West Sumatera to assist the flotilla.

SurfAid is currently focusing on emergency medical response and life-saving distributions of food, water and shelter.

The first SurfAid vessel, the Saranya, was mobilized out of Sibolga to the Nias capital of Gunung Sitoli on March 29.

In Nias, SurfAid now has boats and emergency medical teams covering the south coast, the capital Gunung Sitoli and the north-east coast, the north-west coast and the west coast and Hinako Islands.

The Nias operation is also supported by a nzaid-funded helicopter and a RIB semi-rigid inflatable speed boat donated by British health NGO Merlin International.

This support enables SurfAid teams to access the most isolated regions of the island. Another boat and medical team is currently active in Simeulue Island, Aceh, following an assessment and distributions in the Banyak Islands.

SurfAid International's major funding is provided by AusAID, nzaid and surf apparel companies Quiksilver and Billabong.

NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+ The Saranya is returning to Sibolga tonight. (ETA 3am 06.04.05). The Saranya will refuel and re-equip before heading back out in a few days time.

+ The Sjarali is now in Gunung Sitoli where it has taken over from Saranya as a floating hotel and is providing support for British NGO Merlin International and SurfAid teams operating in the area. It is carrying fresh vegetables, tarps, water and AusAID donated ration packs.

Teluk Dalam

+ SurfAid International today sent an emergency medical team by helicopter to Hiliotalua village, Lolomatua district, South Nias.

+ Together with a medical team from International Christian Mission, SurfAid organized the medical evacuations of seven critically injured patients. The patients were all aged over 50 years (4 women and 3 men) who were suffering from spinal fractures (3), hip fractures (2), broken pelvis and infected lacerated finger.

+ The village nurse reported a recent increase in the incidence of malaria.

Previously, the nurse treated an average of 20 patients per day with 10% suffering from malaria.

Now the nurse is seeing 100 patients per day with an estimated 30% suffering malaria. Note: According to SurfAid’s Dr Dave Jenkins this increase is unlikely to be due to the recent earthquake. Falciparum malaria has an incubation period of at least 7 days.
This does not correspond with the timing of the recent disaster.

+ There were no mosquito nets in the village, despite high rates of malaria. SurfAid distributed 150 family sized long-life insecticide treated nets prioritizing pregnant women and children.

+ 100% of villagers are displaced, while 90% of homes have been damaged. Villagers are afraid to return to their homes.

+ Food shortages are evident. Stocks of rice are finished and villagers are surviving on papaya and cassava.

+ Water is currently in short supply and villagers are hoping for rain.

+ The road between Lolowau and Hiliotalua is badly damaged and not even accessible by motorbike.

+ Two SurfAid team members – a doctor and a community facilitator – will stay in South Nias to conduct an extensive assessment of community health facilities in the region. This assessment will take up to five days. The information will be compiled and available for the Indonesian Government, WHO, AusAID and other NGOs.

+ The Henri Mancini vessel has traveled to Lagundri Bay to distribute rice and tarpaulins to the villages there.

+ Padang charter boat captain Chris Scurrah on Asia reported back from the Telos Island group saying villages have suffered some damage and injury, but nothing serious. The Islands have been heaved slightly out of the water, but show less lift than elsewhere around Nias. Chris is now heading for South Nias where he will distribute emergency supplies funded by SurfAid. These supplies include food, ropes, tarpaulins and water.

IN BRIEF

Up to April 5, 2005, SurfAid International has conducted 181 consultations in South Nias.

All consultations were for serious injuries such as fractures and lacerations which were time consuming, requiring splints, fiberglass casts or suturing.

The main complaints treated by SurfAid emergency medical teams have been:

1) lacerations and fractures
2) Wound infections.

Emergency medical response pattern to date:

Stage 1 – serious trauma cases (all requiring medical evacuation)
Stage 2 – intermediate-minor fractures + serious wounds such as head wounds (many cases requiring medical evacuation)
Stage 3 – minor wound injuries.
Stage 4 – secondary infections.

Post-disaster communicable illness is expected to rise as a result of the high degree of displacement. The following illnesses are likely to increase:

- Respiratory tract infections, often leading to pneumonia
- Skin disease, such as scabies
- Malaria
- Outbreaks of communicable disease which are of particular danger to children, such as measles, rubella etc

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

+ SMA volunteer doctors aboard the Sans Souci conducted clinics in Hinako Island and Bawa Island off the west coast of Nias. These popular surfing islands were badly affected by the March 28 earthquake. All trauma victims had already been medivac-ed off the islands by the UN. The doctors treated minor wound injuries.

+ SMA’s Dr Ethan reports that people are running low of food and water. They have supplies for another three days.

+ The doctors also collected stranded Australian surfer Steward Robinson from Bawa Island. He will be transported to Lagundri Bay in the south and airlifted out by SurfAid helicopter.

+ The south Nias-based emergency medical team aboard the Katika will travel to Sirombu early tomorrow assessing villages along the coast, distributing rice and water and offering medical treatment where required.

+ Meanwhile the northern-based team aboard the Equator Mermaid is traveling south to Sirombu assessing villages along the north-west coast and conducting aid distributions and providing medical assistance.

+ SurfAid International has conducted a helicopter assessment of Sirombu and ascertained that theis not suitable for unloading cargo.

Lahewa

+ According to latest figures 31 people have died in Lahewa.

+ The SurfAid team from the Equator Mermaid charter boat traveled inland 15km from Lahewa town. They treated 298 patients in Lafau village, Idanondrawa and Lauru villages and distributed supplies using the RIB to Pure, Luzei and Lafau villages. They also attempted to evacuate two men from Idanondrawa - one with a broken back and head injuries sustained from the earthquake and another with gangrene that predates the earthquake. However problems in Gunung Sitoli with helicopter dispatch meant the evacuation team did not arrived. Evacuation is rescheduled for tomorrow morning (April 5).

+ Data collected by SurfAid shows 146 houses destroyed or badly damaged.

+ The RIB speed boat will be sent to collect stranded surfer Stewart Robinson and a wounded local woman from Bawa.

+ The Equator Mermaid will rendezvous with the Henry Mancini in Sirombu tomorrow (5.4.05). The Henry Mancini charter boat is carrying 12 tons of relief items including ration packs, tarpaulins, high-energy biscuits, water, generator and water pumps.

Afulu - Northwest Nias

+ The Equator Mermaid spent the day around Afulu in north-west of Nias. The team treated 52 patients in Afulu village, which was home to 1,250 people.

+ The entire village, with the exception of just five families, has now fled to the mountains 2km inland.

+ 85 houses have been destroyed and the only assistance to date has come from the Indonesian TV station, RCTV. The population is running very short of food. SurfAid distributed 65 bags of rice.

+ In addition, the Equator Mermaid medical team also treated 85 people in Laurufadoro, a village 2km south from Afulu. There was one patient with a broken arm. In total, 33% of all patients had earthquake associated injuries.

+ The population of 638 people is running out of food.

+ 61 houses were destroyed.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+ The SurfAid team in Sinabang is preparing the take the charter boat Nauli up the east coast of Simeulue to areas not accessible by road to conduct assessments and distribute food, water and other relief items.

+ The team will depart on April 7 heading for the northern districts of Simeulue Barat, Alafan and Salang. Relief supplies include 15 x 50kg of rice, 60 containers of water and WHO emergency medical kits.

+ The destroyed SurfAid office has been cleaned out and the last items removed to the boat.

+ Yesterday (April 4) the Nauli medical team visited the damaged Sinabang Hospital and attended to patients there. Two patients required medical evacuation but local medical authorities declined permission. The team donated antibiotics to the hospital.

+ Two patients with in the north-east of Sinabang suffering fractures were treated today.

+ The medical team conducted a field clinic at a Sinabang IDP camp. According to SurfAid staff the camps around Sinabang do not have adequate sanitation. There is a need for water purification units and latrines need to be dug.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid has visited the Banyak Islands and confirmed that there were no deaths as a result of the earthquake.

+ In some areas of the Banyak Islands the land has dropped between half to one metre. Wells have been contaminated.

+ SurfAid is planning to return to the Banyak islands to conduct a round of mobile clinics in each village, focusing on measles immunizations, malaria control and nutritional supplementation for children.

GENERAL

+ Special thanks to all the mariners and local specialists who are helping SurfAid fulfill our mission. The roll call includes Mark Flint (Rock) a long-term Nias resident and boat operator, boat manager and local expert Mark ‘Moose’ Matthew, boat captain and surf camp owner Brian Williams, Saranya skipper Russell Chaefforts

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Sumatran Surfariss said...

OTHER RECENT UPDATES: March 31, April 1, April 3, April 9

APRIL 9th UPDATE

On April 2, 2005, Sumatran Surfariis set out on the first wave of our second relief mission to northern Sumatra, headed by our founder, Chris "Scuzz" Scurrah.

On a trip that was originally scheduled to be "just" a surf trip to northern Sumatra, Scuzz and his Californian guests stocked our largest boat, the Southern Cross, with as much essential survival material that they could fit, such as rice, noodles, fresh fruit and veggies, water, kerosene, and basic supplies for eating and digging.

The trip is serving as a major surveying project so that the trips to follow can carry more specific products, and more of them, to the proper places.

Tonight, April 9th, members of SurfAid and IDEP will take out Asia, our medium-range boat, to Gunung Sitoli and some of the small islands around Nias.

Eric Lee of SurfAid and Sam from IDEP will be taking primarily medical supplies, and also picking up additional SurfAid workers on Nias.

From there, they will attempt to reach the most remote islands and provide aid and medical care to the villagers that need help the most.

Again, this boat and relief trip would not have been available if it weren’t for unselfish acts by guests on our surf trips. Brad Turner, Steve Vanta, and Casey Cox from South Carolina graciously agreed to move their small crew from Asia to Afrika (the smallest boat in our fleet) mid-way through their surf trip so we could use Asia’s additional space and duel-engines to head up north.

This is no small task one week into their trip in the middle of the Indian Ocean, especially when you consider group organizer Big Daddy Brad Turner is no small guy at about 6’5”, 250lbs. ;) But Big Daddy knew it was the least he and the others could do to help so we could free up Asia for the mission on the 9th.

We originally hoped that Matt George and members of the SSRO would be on this boat, but his friends will be coming on April 11th. Hopefully we can arrange a boat from our fleet for them to us ASAP as well. They have been super energetic, positive heroes already since the tsunami first hit, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

As Scuzz is out to sea, and the Pasti sat phone network still down, much of our information for this update is coming from other sources.

One of the positive aspects of this quake is that it has brought together companies that have been competitors in surf charter business in the Mentawais and northern Sumatra in the past, and gotten them to work together for a common goal and bigger cause.

Many of the veterans of the surf charter business realize that we would be NOWHERE without the generosity and kindness of the locals on the many small islands in western and northern Sumatra in which we surf, and it’s great to see that many companies are working as one to give back and help those locals that have given us so much so freely in the past.

One of the key players in the relief effort has been Rick Cameron and members of his Electric Lamb Mission (ELM), http://www.electriclamb.org. Rick has been a big player in the surf charter industry in Indo pretty much since its infancy, and we’ve definitely jockeyed over a few potential customers in the past. ;)

But it’s inspiring to see all the efforts he has made to help those in need. And Rick is far from the only one; many of the boats of the Quiksilver Travel fleet have come over to help, as well as countless smaller companies - too many for my brain to remember. Suffice it to say that EVERY BIT of aid from the companies involved goes a long way toward helping the local Indonesians back to their normal way of life.

The most recent reports from this area continue to be astounding, particularly in the realm of geographical changes. To put it bluntly, much of the coastlines on these islands look totally different. There will be more photos from Scuzz and his crew around April 16, but in the meantime you can see from the photo taken by Rick’s crew to get an idea of how things have changed. The shot was taken at high tide at Pulau Tepak in southern Simeulue. For reference, typical high tides would lap at the foundation of the house at the tree line before March 28.

In an area where navigating, dockings, and beach landings were difficult BEFORE the quake, getting a boat close to land with relief and aid materials is nearly impossible now. Moving the boats at night is extremely high risk, so the window of time to get in and help is greatly shortened.

It’s made the use of smaller boats and local fishermen imperative in order to reach the larger boats and carry in the goods bit by bit.

While some parties believe that worst is behind us, others acting on instinct are not so sure. Dr. Kerry Sieh, the geologist whom we’ve been working with since the December 26 tsunami, is the man who runs the GPS network in Sumatra. He feels there is no reason to believe that another big earthquake (or tsunami) are imminent. Dr. Kerry doesn’t feel villagers should take any special precautions that they cannot maintain over the next few months or year. He states that aftershocks will continue to be numerous, but they should last just a few seconds are very unlikely to generate another tsunami. However, though Dr. Kerry is more qualified than anyone to assess the situation, many boat crew and villagers are acting on their gut feelings and basically are scared. Rick stated that after seeing all the destruction and feeling the aftershocks shake his boat that he wonders if they are past the worst of this huge adjustment. And many of the villagers that have the means to leave are doing so, fleeing their islands in northern Sumatran and the Mentawais in huge numbers to what they perceive is safer ground.

In terms of scientific data, Dr. Kerry says the GPS station at the airport in Simeulue has moved by 2.3 meters to the southwest and 1.65 meters up. The receding of the water and the uplift of the GPS station means that the islands have risen up permanently, and thus this means that the sea has receded permanently along the southern coasts of Simeulue and other areas experiencing this uplift.

This is consistent with the photos showing reefs that are now exposed and drying around the southern coasts of the island. His other reports indicate that the same has happened around Nias and Banyaks.

Truth be told, I don’t understand exactly how Dr. Kerry knows this, but he repeatedly states in his writings that islands have risen up PERMANENTLY.

(islands and land masses are only created two ways on this planet of ours #1. Volcanoes #2. Earthquakes. the islands are simply growing. This is scientific and natural fact, and if you think *that's* amazing - the whole planet is spinning around 24/7/365 suspended in space "look ma, no hands!" Given that, we can see why the plates move around...no? birdie)

Therefore, as stated above, there is no reason to believe another 8+ quake and/or tsunami will hit the area, though many aftershocks, including a few in the 6-7+ range, wouldn’t be uncommon.



However, the Bupati (similar to a regent, governor, or chief) on Simeulue gave us some insight into the mindset of the villagers that shows they are not ready to rely on scientific data at this point. He says most people on the island are now living outdoors in the hills or higher ground. After the quake, they saw the waters recede, exposing huge coral heads and large sections of reef, and, in their minds, this was a clear indication that another tsunami was imminent. The fact that the waters haven’t returned back to the normal levels has done nothing to calm the villagers, and has in fact caused a lot of additional anxiety and confusion. Rick expressed it well when he said, “They feel like they are in a suspended action tsunami that could come at any time.” Complicating matters, there was a CNN interview shortly before the second quake in which a seismologist predicted there would be a major quake on or around March 26th. The Bupati made a public statement proclaiming the prediction was nonsense. Now, after the quake the 28th, the villagers have essentially lost faith in the Bupati, and they are picking up on every story and assuming the worse. When Rick asked him about this, the Bupati just shrugged his shoulders and said, “The people won’t listen to me if I say the danger is past. I was wrong about the last prediction and now I have to take the new warnings seriously”.

In many cases, it’s clear the villagers are acting on instinct and rumor rather than factual data. As we’ve said throughout these updates since the first tsunami, education is the key to avoiding, or at least lessening, the physical and emotional damage these natural phenomenons can cause. We certainly cannot blame the Indo villagers for acting as they have, and RIGHT NOW is probably not the best time to sit down and have a class on seismology. The time now is for survival and rebuilding, but it will be imperative to educate the locals if they are to sustain and thrive in their homelands in the future

One point that we’d eventually like to get across to the villagers, or anyone traveling to Indonesia, is that Indonesia has, and has always had, many earthquakes annually because of its geologic setting. On average, there is approximately one 8+ earthquake in the Indian Ocean per year, and roughly every 2 years an earthquake causes a tsunami somewhere on the Indonesian coast. Most are small, and go undetected and unreported. The December 26th quake with its 9.1 magnitude was exponentially stronger than a quake in the 8.0 range, and was largest earthquake in more than 60 years. However, the fact that this is the worse quake in 60 years shows that it IS very rare. One key point we’d like to clarify to them is that once a tsunami hits, waves may continue to arrive for many hours, but there are no “aftershock tsunamis”. Once the main set of waves arrives and eventually dissipates, there will not be a follow-up tsunami (unless of course there is another new quake of high enough magnitude to cause one). It gets confusing for anyone, let alone villagers who are stuck in the middle of it all. But it’s essential to provide the villagers with the proper information so they can rebuild their lives and protect their future.

Surfers and aid organizations are not the only people who want to help the villagers in these remote islands. Around New Years Eve, we got a call from a very distraught and emotional man named Ray Williamson. Ray is the Captain and owner of Maine Windjammer cruises in Camden, Maine (USA), http://mainewindjammercruises.com, and it was clear from his tone of voice that he just HAD to do something to help. After many talks with Christina and myself (Slayer), Captain Ray began to organize a plan. He arranged to charter the 900-ton cargo vessel Maruta Jay through contacts he had in Indonesia and wanted it to be used in the best way possible towards a relief effort. Captain Ray ran into a lot of roadblocks and dead-ends trying to secure a crew and the materials needed to put Maruta Jay to its best use, until he finally decided the best thing to do would be go over there and do it himself. As of April 6, Captain Ray was loading supplies in Jakarta, with a projected arrival in Nias around April 13 – 14. They are expecting Care International to help them gather a full load. You can read more about Ray’s efforts on this page of his website, In addition, the boat is available for relief cargo transportation again on May 1, so if you feel you have a need for the vessel, you should contact Margaret Jones: relief@mainewindjammercruises.com, 207-236-0675 (USA).

It’s people with that kind of die-hard need to help that keep us motivated. We are just a small piece of the puzzle trying to help out, but we will continue to do our best to aid in the relief and rebuilding process. We’d like to thank everyone for all their emails and kind words of support. Special thanks to Matt Barbour and Kristin Doherty, as they were the first to send a check towards our relief efforts - the must have sent it the day after it happened because it arrived right away. If you would like to make a contribution to our relief efforts, there is information on how to do so here.

Thanks again, and we’ll keep you posted. Terima kasih banyak!!

SLAYER

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Surfaid international said...

April 9, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 10

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA | THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATERA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH
OVERALL SITUATION

SurfAid International emergency medical teams are continuing search and rescue operations in the remote villages of Nias, organizing the medical evacuation of nine critical cases over the past two days. Teams are being dropped into the isolated regions of central Nias by helicopter, then spending two days in the areas trekking into villages which have limited access. The search and rescue teams are finding that up to 80% of dwellings are now uninhabitable while 90% - 100% of the populations are displaced. Food supplies are low.

Meanwhile, in the Nias capital Gunung Sitoli SurfAid International has instigated a coordinating committee on malaria prevention which includes the Regional Health Department, the Indonesian Malaria Control Board, Unicef, AusAID and International Medical Corps (IMC). The committee met for the first time today (April 9). SurfAid is planning a medium-to-long term malaria prevention program in Nias targeting the isolated west coast regions. The program will focus on preventing further death from malaria by building the capacity of local health authorities in malaria surveillance and treatment protocol. This will be backed up by mosquito net distribution, possible mosquito spraying and a public education campaign.

The SurfAid team in Simeulue Island, Aceh, is currently operating in the southeast of the island, distributing emergency food and medical supplies.

SurfAid International's major funding is provided by AusAID, nzaid and surf apparel companies Quiksilver and Billabong. SurfAid has also partnered with British NGO Merlin International in Nias. Merlin has donated a 9-metre RIB inflatable speed boat for rapid response, a quad-motorbike for access to isolated villages and is currently funding a logistics command /accommodation boat based in Gunung Sitoli.

NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+ The charter boat Asia arrives tonight (April 9) to take over as SurfAid’s logistics command post in Gunung Sitoli. The boat was forced to turn back to Padang, West Sumatera, yesterday (April 8) following a storm.

+ The vessel has an experienced crew with expert knowledge of Nias. At night it will provide accommodation for humanitarian staff.

Teluk Dalam

+ A two member SurfAid team continues to work in the South Nias region collecting data on health clinics. This information will help SurfAid and other organizations to plan future public health and health infrastructure interventions.

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

Search & Rescue

+ Team A: A search and rescue team returned this morning (April 9) from a 24-hour medical mission in Lolamatua Sub-District in central Nias, directly inland from Sirombu. The team assessed the villages of Hiliatalua and Hiliusa where doctors conducted 11 medical consultations and identified 2 critical patients for medical evacuation.

+ The critically injured patients were a 12-year-old boy with a fractured femur and a 45-year-old man with a severely fractured foot. The 12-year-old boy was evacuated this afternoon. Attempts to land a helicopter in Hiliusa village to collect the 45-year-old man were unsuccessful. He will be evacuated tomorrow.

+ The team found 80% of buildings uninhabitable and 90% of the village populations living in IDP camps.

+ Team B: A second search and rescue team has returned from the Mandrehe Sub-District following a 24-hour medical mission which included the villages of Hilidaula, Siso Bandrao, Lasarafaga, Orahili, Siduahili, Lasarahili and Hilifadolo.

+ Team doctors conducted 16 consultations – mainly treating wounds and secondary infections.

+ Two more critical patients were identified for medical evacuation. These were a 53-year-old man with a fractured pelvis and a 42-year-old woman with a radius and ulna fracture and a fractured left ankle.

+ The medical teams noted an increasing incidence of diarrhea since the earthquake, particularly amongst displaced children.

+ The team returned to Mandrehe today for further medical assessments. An 8-year-old boy with a fractured and dislocated hip was evacuated from Lologolou village.

+ Both regions visited by the medical search and rescue teams over the past two days reported low stocks of food. In Mandrehe some rice had been distributed by the government (about 0.5kg per family)

Engineering Assessments

+ A team of AusAID emergency engineers has now joined the SurfAid International operation. The team started assessing public facilities in the Sirombu Sub-District yesterday (April 8).

+ The overall assessment will take two weeks and will target health facilities and schools.

+ According to the District Head, all 30 schools in Sirombu are either destroyed, damaged or unsafe for use. Classes have been suspended since the March 28 earthquake and were due to restart on Monday (April 11). However, as yet there are no tents or emergency structures for the school children.

+ The engineers joined the Mandrehe medical assessment today (April 9). They visited the Tuwuna, Lologolou, Bolodano and Lolozirugi villages. In all villages 100% of the populations are displaced.

+ Water is available, but some villagers walk up to 2km to reach a water source.

+ Food was sited as the main requirement in all villages.

Medical Evacuations

+ Four patients identified by SurfAid teams for medical evacuation over the past two days have been flown by helicopter to the SurfAid operational base in Sirombu from where they were transported by helicopter to the Nias capital Gunung Sitoli. Four more critical patients from Afulu were transported to Sirombu by speed boat and then flown to Gunung Sitoli. A ninth patient will be evacuated tomorrow (April 10).

Distributions

+ SurfAid organized distributions of relief items to Sirombu Sub-District village representatives today. The distributions took place at the SurfAid warehouse in Sirombu. Representatives from 34 of the 36 villages in Sirombu received rice, water, tarpaulins, jerry cans, towels, underwear and cloth.

Other Activities in Sirombu

+ A large World Food Program (WFP) barge was partly unloaded yesterday with the help of two Australian Army beach landing craft. The barge has 70 tonnes of rice on board which will be distributed throughout the sub-districts of Mandrehe, Sirombu and Alasa.

+ SurfAid International will focus on emergency medical and public health interventions, but has offered to assist WFP with the coordination of rice distributions on the west coast.

+ SurfAid has also offered assistance in the coordination of shelter distributions.

+ The road between Gunung Sitoli and Sirombu is now open and is being used by trucks and buses.

Afulu - Northwest Nias

+ The Equator Mermaid and the Merlin RIB speed boat have been conducting food, water and tarpaulin distributions in the Afulu sub-district. Four villages today received emergency supplies of rice, water, tarpaulins, jerry cans, towels, underwear and cloth.

+ The medical team aboard the boat organized the medical evacuation of four critical patients from Afulu today. The patients were transported to Sirombu by the RIB speed boat and then transferred to Gunung Sitoli by helicopter.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+ The SurfAid team aboard the Nauli is conducting emergency distributions in the northern sub-district of Simeulue Barat. The Nauli is carrying rice, water, tarpaulins and tents donated by the AusAid-funded vessel the Batavia.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid is planning to return to the Banyak islands to conduct a round of mobile clinics in each village, focusing on measles immunizations, malaria control and nutritional supplementation for children.

3:38 AM  
Anonymous SurfZone Relief said...

Surfzone Relief heading back to Sumatra -- with your help

If you have been following the efforts of Surfzone Relief to deliver aid to the remote tsunami-afflicted islands of Sumatra, Indonesia and have wondered if there was any way you could help -- the answer is yes, there is._ It's a bit unusual, but this is an invitation for you or your company to directly sponsor the delivery of a fishing canoe to right to a village which desperately needs it to begin feeding itself again.

Since the first week of January, our American surfer-organized effort has focused on helping people in the remote villages of Simeulue and Nias to cope with the damage and suffering brought on by the December 26 earthquake and tsunami._ As you may have read in the news or seen on TV, SRO team members were the first responders to most of the west coast of Pulau Simeulue, the closest villages to the epicenter of that 9.0 earthquake._ Although brand-new to relief world, SRO's nimble style and never-give-up approach succeeded in quickly bringing over 70 tons of food, water and other desperately-needed supplies and provided medical services to 4000 isolated survivors._

What you might not know is that the more recent 8.7 earthquake on March 28 heaped even more devastation directly on these very villages -- and subjected them to a new 12-foot tsunami (despite endless media reports to the contrary)._ More lives were lost, and even more boats were destroyed, further crippling the islanders' hopes of reestablishing their fishing infrastructure.

Despite many large international aid "organizations" now rushing into the larger port cities of Gunung Sitoli and Sinabong, these villages on the west coasts of Nias and Simeulue ARE NOT receiving significant help as the roads and bridges are out as they can only be reached by sea._ Yesterday the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre finally issued a Situation Report noting the problem we've been dealing with for months:

"As a consequence of the earthquake(s) the land at the coastline of the Hinaku islands west off Sirumbu at the West coast of Nias has reportedly risen by some two meters and hence it appears that the beaches there no longer exist._ This renders fishing difficult and 2,000 inhabitants are all reported to be in urgent need of food. Due to dense forestation of palm trees, even landing sites for helicopters appear difficult."

These are the places where our knowledge as surfers makes all the difference._ And so we go again.

SRO had been working toward our next "canoe-lift" of 50 Siberut-made dugouts for later this month, but with the latest disaster, the need is immediate._ Matt George has been in Padang, Sumatra for the last week preparing the Mikumba for the next voyage and arranging all the relief supplies and the local medical team._ His brother Sam will join him this weekend._ But this urgency has also greatly shortened up the time available to raise funds for the mission. We need to come up with another $25,000 to ensure that the ship is packed to its fullest cargo capacity with food, water, canoes, tools, school supplies and other key items before it gets underway.

So here's how you can help us help them:

For a donation of $1000, you can sponsor the delivery of a two-man canoe (packed with nets and light fishing tackle) directly to the villagers who need it so badly._ As per SRO tradition, the bow of each canoe will be painted with the name or message of your choice, and you will receive a photo of your "vessel" in the hands of the fishermen who will use it._ And you will also receive a handsome miniature handcarved replica canoe for display in your home or office._ Even more importantly, you will know that your donation went directly to where it was needed, not diverted to aid agency salaries or "Administrative Overhead."

We know there are many organizations out there asking for money._ And many of you have already given._ But these people need help, and it appears that once again it is left to a small but persistent group of American surfers to get it done._

We need you aboard._ Please sail with us.


e-mail: SurfNewsTsunami@aol.com
website: SurfzoneRelief.org

Nonprofit Corporation Tax ID#: 20-2597808

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

A 6.8 Quake at 5.29pm yesterday has been followed by a series of large aftershocks. All are centered between Sipura and Siberut in the Mentawai straits.

Padang is undamaged but in panic. There has been a mass exodus of the city and people are camping on high ground. We have heard no reports of damage in Mentawai but the phone lines are jammed and we have not been able to reach our Mentawai office.

Reports from Sanssouci II in South Pagai indicate little or no damage in that area but they have not been able to reach other charter boats in the Northern Islands yet.

Hopefully the release of energy in this series of quakes has spared Padang and the islands from a catastrophic single quake but clearly the fault line is letting go further and futher south.

2005/04/10 10:29 M 6.8 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA Z= 30km 1.62S 99.56E

This information is provided by the USGS
National Earthquake Information Center.
(Address problems to: sedas@ghtmail.cr.usgs.gov)

These parameters are preliminary and subject to revision.

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake IN THE KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA has occurred at:
1.62S 99.56E Depth 30km Sun Apr 10 10:29:13 2005 UTC

Time: Universal Time (UTC) Sun Apr 10 10:29:13 2005
Time Near Epicenter Sun Apr 10 17:29:13 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------
SIMEULUE RAW
11 April, 2005

Simeulue must have been one of the world's most beautiful islands. Even after being slammed by a huge tsunami and wracked by two huge quakes, the beauty is returning like skin healing. But then there is the reef. The bleached remains of once stunning tropical coral gardens bake in the sun. It is the first thing that hits you and it is impossible to get away from it for long. This is an island and it yet it feels dislocated from the sea. What is wrong with the photo above? The footprints in the sand have not been washed smooth by the tide.

Try to imagine being hit by a tsunami and then by a huge earthquake just months later. I cant think of any precedent for this in recent history. How can people muster a smile after all this? Some cant. A shopkeeper tries to cobble salvaged timber together to repair is shanty shop after it was knocked down by the recent quake. He was clearly on the edge. We talked for a while and I handed him some cigarettes as we parted. He turned and resumed hammering with measured blows. No wasted movements. He has nothing left to waste.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
SITUATION REPORT
Wed 6th April, 2005

Medical team second visit to the Sinabang Hospital.
Surgical Kit from WHO is not urgently needed but they have space to store it in the tents. 10,000 person IDA medical kit should remain aboard as they have no space and have already received several kits. Will clear this with WHO BA.

Request from the Head of Dinas Kesehatan, Dr Tagwallah for Batavia to support medical assessment and field clinics in the following

Subregions:

Teupah Barat, 18 villages 1,597 families 6951 population

Simeulue Tengah, 24 villages 2,211 families 9431 population

Salang, 16 villages 1,718 villages 7,912 population

Totals 58 villages 5,526 families 24,294 population

Only the southern 9 villages in Teupah Barat have received any medical help since the quake on the 28th March.

Some non-medical assessment teams have reached the central coast on motorbike and report IDPs are all in hills and some have fractures and injuries that are not being treated.

Dr Tagwallah later met with the BUPATI, Drs Darmili and arranged for a formal letter approving our mission to the West Coast areas defined above.



Save the Children took delivery of own material sent from Banda Aceh stores :

This aid includes:

140 Wheelbarrows
81 Tarps
300 Pickaxe
300 Mattock
600 Handle
300 Shovels
150 Boxes Detol soap
40 Childrens recreation kit
67 Floor mats.

Save the Children then re-assigned the following material for ELM to distribute to the West coast villages we are planning to visit.

Material assigned:

3 Recreational Kits
18 Tarps
90 Boxes Detol soap (damaged by rain before loading Kurent Raya)

ELM assigned 25 PCI tents to Save the Children for distribution in Sinabang township.

OB, MPI & NWM Medical teams visited IDP camps on hill tops around town.

General conclusions are:
- Health and nutrition generally adequate.

- Shelter issues are directly related to fear of a predicted tsunami.

- A proportion of wooden houses are repairable or habitable but the trauma of the quake will keep people from returning. April 19th has been quoted as a date after which people might return to their house. No one can say why that date is significant.

- Surviving masonry houses and structures are unsafe. Reinforced concrete beams and columns are damaged beyond repair at corners, post/beam intersections and cement block wall infill is cracked and unstable. Aftershocks are causing panels of masonry to fall and this will continue. These buildings must be demolished and that is a huge and dangerous task.

- The perception that the ocean has receded is the cause of great fear.

It is very hard to explain the difference between what has happened on the 28th of March and what happened on the 26th of December.

The Simeulue people have a strong oral tradition that dictates quake and tsunami response. This tradition is based on a catastrophic tsunami in 1907 that killed many thousands on the island. The reason that the Dec 26th death toll was so low in Simeulue is a direct result of this oral tradition or adat and now it is the reason that village people refuse to return to their villages and houses near the shoreline. See this as a major problem for health and relief workers to deal with.Tthe fact that the population were better prepared to deal with both the quakes and the tsunami has resulted in far lower death toll than on Nias.

Damage to infrastructure in non-urban areas is very serious in Simeulue.

1800 Attended UN coordination meeting at Save the Children tent.

- Telkomsel service has resumed (no Mentari)

- SMAK have resumed flights to Simeulue twice per day.

- WFP 300tons of food will arrive 7th April

- Irish seismological stories are being taken seriously by all and emergency measures in place for all NGOs to evacuate to high ground.

- Several long span bridges are down in Alafan, Salang and at Dihit?

- CARE Water treatment equipment has arrived but no technicians avail to install yet. Hopefully tomorrow.

- General concern about West Coast area as no health work or supplies to that area since the quake.

NWM team examined the 4yo with the swollen head and determined that the child needed scanning and a shunt to drain pressure from cranial cavity.

Beyond any facilities in Sinabang and not appropriate for US Mercy.

Child will require a long period of outpatient monitoring and possibly a long initial observation period after the shunt is fitted and this all best done in Medan or other larger hospital. Decision should be made by the main hospital. Not a life threatening condition.

Surf Aid International took delivery of 20 PCI tents for distribution to North Simeulue villages.

Following a formal request by PEMDA, SATKORLAK took delivery of 25 CARE tents for distribution in Sinabang.

A request for wheelbarrows and shovels was referred to Save the Children as they have a large stock and intend to support cleanup work in the town.

We experienced several strong aftershocks that shook the ship and caused wave action in the harbor basin.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous SurfAid International said...

April 11, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 11

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA | THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATRA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH
EARTHQUAKE IN PADANG, WEST SUMATRA

West Sumatra was rocked by a large earthquake yesterday afternoon (April 10) registering 6.7 on the Richter scale. To date there have been no reports of deaths, injuries or major damage. SurfAid

International has its head office in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra, and a long-term public health development project in the Mentawai Islands which was close to the epicenter of the yesterday’s quake.

All SurfAid team members are reported to be safe in Padang, however structural damage to the organization’s third-floor head office on Jl. Diponegoro has forced a temporary relocation.

In the Mentawai’s, SurfAid’s team in Muara Siberut has reported one house damaged and electricity poles down.

The population has moved into the hills for fear of a tsunami. There has been no news from the team in Tuapejat due to failed communications.

However, UN OCHA has reported that the Department of Social Affairs was able to make contact through RAPI (Radio Antar Penduduk Indonesia or Indonesian Inter-Citizen Radio) stating there was no significant damage or casualties in the Mentawais.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE | SUMMARY

SurfAid continues to focus its emergency efforts of the west coast of Nias Island, North Sumatra. Using helicopter support and motorbikes, SurfAid medical teams have gained access to remote villages in west and central Nias.

+ On Sunday April 10, four SurfAid/AusAID medical and engineering teams assessed 16 villages and conducted 27 emergency consultations.

+ Six patients were identified for medical evacuation, including a critically ill 45-year-old man with a fractured spine and abdominal injuries.

+ Helicopter support has been instrumental in enabling the SurfAid search and rescue teams to access isolated villages. The SurfAid charter helicopter has been funded by NZAID.

+ In villages assessed, 30-40% of houses have been destroyed.

+ 100% of the village populations are currently displaced. Most are too afraid to return to their homes.

+ Food, water, mosquito nets and other emergency supplies were distributed to representatives of all villages in Sirombu district.

+ On Monday April 11, three SurfAid emergency medical teams traveled by motorbike to three separate districts.

+ In the villages visited 100% of populations were living in temporary shelters at night. They sometimes return to their houses during the day.

+ Concerns have been raised by AusAID/Red R engineers about the large quantities of asbestos being found in damaged and destroyed non-traditional houses.

+ Water and other emergency supplies have been shipped to the Hinako Islands and distributed by SurfAid in a joint operation with Unicef.
NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+ The charter boat Asia arrives has taken over as SurfAid’s logistics command post in Gunung Sitoli.

+ The vessel has an experienced crew with expert knowledge of Nias. At night it will provide accommodation for humanitarian staff.

Teluk Dalam

+ A two-member SurfAid team continues to work in the South Nias region collecting data on health clinics. This information will help SurfAid and other organizations to plan future public health and health infrastructure interventions.

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

Search & Rescue - April 10, 2005

+ Team A: Were dropped by helicopter into Lolowau district. In Olayama village, the team discovered a paralyzed 45-year-old man with a fractured spine, abdominal injuries and ulcerous abscess on the buttocks due to lack of movement over the past 10 days. The man had been unable to defecate or urinate since being injured in the March 28 earthquake.

+ SurfAid’s Dr Alfian spent the evening in Olayama village in an effort to stabilize the critically ill patient before he was airlifted out of the village today (April 11).

+ Team B: Conducted medical assessments in the Mandrehe district and identified five (5) patients for medical evacuation.

+ Team C: Conducted medical assessments and consultations in the border region of Lolofitu Moi and Lolomatua districts.

+ Team D: Conducted medical assessments and consultations in the Lolofitu Moi district.

+ All together the SurfAid/AusAID teams covered a total of 16 villages and conducted 27 medical consultations.

+ In the villages visited 30-40% of buildings are uninhabitable, while 100% of the village populations sleep in displacement camps. Some villagers return to their homes during the day.

Search and Rescue – April 11, 2005

+ The SurfAid helicopter is undergoing maintenance for the next three days.

+ Three emergency medical teams conducted assessments in three separate districts – Mandrehe, Lolowau and north of Sirombu – accessing the villages by motorbike.

+ One medical case was identified for evacuation. The 20-year-old woman with a broken thigh bone had already been evacuated and treated in the Gunung Sitoli hospital.

Three-months pregnant, the woman had returned home but was assessed by SurfAid medical staff to still be in urgent need of medical treatment. The team is arranging for her to be transported to the hospital ship USS Mercy.

+ In the villages assessed, 90-100% of populations were sleeping in
displacement camps. Government assistance had reached these villages with residents receiving 2kg or rice per household.

+ Identified needs were basic food supplies and tarpaulins.

+ In some villages rice prices have jumped from Rp.3500 (AUD 0.50) per kilo to Rp.8000 (AUD1.10) per kilo.

+ In general, villages near the main road have received medical assistance and most urgent medical cases have been evacuated.

However, SurfAid International teams are finding little or no assistance has reached the remote villages of west and central Nias.

Distributions

+ Representatives from each of the 36 villages in the Sirombu district received emergency supplies packages from the SurfAid International warehouse. Distributed was: 2800kg rice; 100 boxes of noodles; 2800 large bottles of Aqua; 15 boxes of high-energy biscuits; 750 boxes of nappies (diapers); 72 mosquito nets and plastic plates.

+ SurfAid has started distributing water, kerosene stoves, tarpaulins and other basic needs to the populations on Hinako, Asu and Bawa Islands off the west coast of Nias. The supplies have been donated by Unicef.

Engineering Assessments

+ Each SurfAid medical team includes an AusAID/Red R emergency engineer to conduct rapid assessments of public facilities including health centers and schools.

+ The engineers have raised concerns over the large quantities of asbestos being found amongst the rubble of destroyed and damaged homes and buildings. There is an urgent need to warn both local populations and reconstruction teams about the dangers of asbestos.

+ Classes were due to start today (April 11) but many schools have been unable to reopen because there are no tents or other emergency temporary structures.


Some Key Points for the Handling of Asbestos Waste
Courtesy: UNEP

The key danger from asbestos is airborne inhalation and burying it in a properly sited location is an acceptable way of reducing that danger.

Some basic advice regarding handling of the asbestos building waste is:

1. To the extent practicable, avoid handling asbestos on sites that have a lot of asbestos and associated dust. Such sites should ideally be marked with warnings and left for clearance by properly equipped and trained teams as inhalation of asbestos dust is associated with a number of serious health conditions.

2. Where clearance is immediately necessary or chosen, use a mask, gloves and appropriate footwear at a minimum. To avoid inhalation of asbestos dust, breathing equipment is recommended if available in cases where there is asbestos dust associated with the clearing process.

3. Minimize secondary creation of dust during handling and transportation. Ideally bury the asbestos material in a marked location to avoid secondary creation of dust, covered by 1 meter of earth. The site of a suitable burial location should follow minimum selection criteria for solid waste noted below.

4. Immediately dispose of, or wash clothing worn during handling of asbestos debris, secondary contamination is a danger to those washing clothes, and affected clothing should potentially be treated as asbestos contaminated material and disposed of accordingly.

Emergency landfill site selection criteria:

1. The site is located outside of an identifiable or known floodplain and flood prone, wetlands.

2. It is a minimum of 100 feet from all surface waters including small creeks, streams, watercourses, ditches that maintain seasonal groundwater levels, ponds, wetlands, and on-site buildings/structures, septic and drain fields etc.

3. It is at least 250 feet from off-site residential dwellings, commercial or public structures, and potable water supply wells.

4. These guidelines will minimize the pollutants entering the watersheds and contaminating the aquifers that provide drinking water. Debris dump site selection based on local geology and proximity to a water body is an important component of successful solid waste management.


Other Activities in Sirombu

+ SurfAid International has successfully pumped the well at the Sirombu Puskesmas (Health Centre).

+ SurfAid has donated a generator to the Sirombu Health Centre.

+ NGO Hope has been running medical clinics in Mandrehe and Sirombu.

+ The road between Gunung Sitoli and Sirombu is now open and is being used by trucks and buses.

+ There have been reports of minor civil disturbances in parts of Nias during distributions. SurfAid has not experienced any problems in the field.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+ The SurfAid team aboard the Nauli continues emergency distributions in the northern sub-district of Simeulue Barat. The Nauli is carrying rice, water, tarpaulins and tents donated by the AusAid-funded vessel the Batavia.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid is planning to return to the Banyak islands to conduct a round of mobile clinics in each village, focusing on measles immunizations, malaria control and nutritional supplementation for children.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous SAI said...

April 13, 2005

SITUATION REPORT NO. 12

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDONESIA | THE SECOND WAVE OF DISASTER

NIAS ISLAND, NORTH SUMATRA, BANYAK ISLANDS & SIMEULUE ISLAND, ACEH
EARTHQUAKE AND VOLCANIC ERUPTION, WEST SUMATRA

On April 10 West Sumatera was rocked by an earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale. The SurfAid International head office, situated on the third floor of a hotel in the West Sumateran capital of Padang, is feared to be structurally unsound and staff have relocated to a temporary office in the Air Manis district. A structural assessment will be required of the SurfAid office in Jl. Diponegoro.

SurfAid can currently be contacted at: +62 (0)751 767 888

There were no deaths in the Mentawai Islands as a result of the April 10 earthquake and only minor damage has been reported. According to the regional secretary (quoted in the Kompas daily newspaper), a majority of the population is suffering trauma as a result of the earthquake. They are choosing to sleep in makeshift camps rather than their homes because they are afraid of further earthquakes and tsunamis.

Meanwhile, a volcano in West Sumatera erupted yesterday forcing the evacuation of at least 1000 people. The Talang volcano in the Solok district, about 100km from Padang, spewed ash 500m into the sky. At the same time, authorities have issued a high alert for the Merapi volcano near Bukitinggi in West Sumatera.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE | SUMMARY

SurfAid continues to focus its emergency efforts of the west coast of Nias Island, North Sumatera. Using helicopter support and motorbikes, SurfAid medical teams have gained access to remote villages in west and central Nias. Another SurfAid mission has focused on the north-eastern coast of Simeulue Island, Aceh.

+ Land, sea and air operations took place in Nias yesterday (April 12) with three emergency medical and engineering teams in the field in Mandrehe District and the Hinako Islands.

+ No new medical evacuation cases were identified.

+ SurfAid attempted to facilitate the medical evacuation of seven patients identified by teams the previous day. However, bad weather prevented the UN helicopter from landing. These patients will be medivac-ed today (April 13).

+ SurfAid distributed emergency supplies, provided by Unicef, to 36 villages in the Sirombu district, including the Hinako Islands.

+ A boat has returned from five days in the north-east of Simeulue Island. The team conducted assessments and distributed emergency supplies to the affected populations.
NIAS

Gunung Sitoli

+ The charter boat Asia is operating as SurfAid’s logistics command post in Gunung Sitoli and providing accommodation for humanitarian staff.

+ The vessel has an experienced crew with expert knowledge of Nias.

Teluk Dalam

+ A two-member SurfAid team is working in South Nias collecting data on health clinics. This information will help SurfAid and other organizations to plan future public health and health infrastructure interventions.

Sirombu-Mandrehe, West Nias Island

Emergency Medical and Engineering Teams

+ Team One: Was dropped by helicopter into the Mandrehe district. The team completed 25 medical consultations in the villages visited and at one stage worked together with a clinic being operated by the medical organization Hope.

+ The team attempted to facilitate the medical evacuation of seven patients they had identified as being in a serious condition the previous day. Bad weather prevented the UN helicopter from landing. The seven patients will be evacuated today (April 13)

+ Team Two: Conducted assessments on the islands of Asu, Imana and Hinako.

+ Water is the major issue here. All wells are dry and villagers are too scared to get into the wells to dig further for fear another earthquake or tremor will hit. AusAID/Red R engineers have raised concerns that digging deeper may hit the salt water table.

+ 100% of populations sleeping in makeshift camps at night. 50-70% of houses are uninhabitable.

+ It was noted that the population is using the SurfAid mosquito nets in the temporary shelters.

+ Team Three: Visited four villages in and around Mandrehe town. No major injuries were discovered.

+ Access remains a problem. The team traveled by motorbike 10km north of Mandrehe town, but were unable to continue because bridges are down. The team was also blocked by rivers 8km west of the town.

+ 10% of houses are destroyed and 100% of populations are sleeping in makeshift camps at night.

+ Families have received 300g of rice each from the government.

+ Identified needs were kerosene stoves, tents and basic food goods.

Distributions

+ SurfAid distributed Unicef donated emergency supplies to representatives from all villages in Sirombu district, including the Hinako Islands.

+ Distributed was: 400 bottles Aqua (600ml); 90 tarpaulins (4mX5m); 88 20lt buckets; 5 cartons salt; 350 kerosene stoves; 356 cooking utensils; 376 blankets.

Engineering Assessments

+ Engineers have found that structural damage is worst on the coast than the hillside communities. This is mainly because the hillside communities live in traditional wooden homes which have withstood the earthquake better than reinforced cement buildings.

+ The engineers are concerned about the large quantities of asbestos at damage sites.

Afulu

+ The Cahaya Abadi, a 700-tonne vessel from Padang charted by the Jakarta NGO yayasan Andaru Selaras has sank off the coast of Afulu. The ship hit an uncharted reef.

+ The vessel was carrying WFP rice and relief items for Bali NGO IDEP and Project Concern International. IDEP relief items alone were valued at almost USD 45 000.

+ All staff and crew swam ashore safely.

SIMEULUE ISLAND

Sinabang

+ The SurfAid team returned to Sinabang yesterday (April 12) following distributions and assessments in the northern district of Simeulue Barat.

+ SurfAid was the first organization to visit this region since the March 28 earthquake.

+ Simeulue Barat was badly affected by the earthquake on December 26 with much structural damage to homes and public facilities. According to SurfAid staff the latest earthquake has worsened the situation. Many houses that could have been renovated have since been destroyed.

+ Schools have been particularly affected.

+ The team distributed rice, tarpaulins, Indonesian Red Cross tents, water and basic medical kits.

+ SurfAid staff report incidences of malaria amongst the displaced population in the capital Sinabang. To date malaria screening has not taken place.

BANYAK ISLANDS

+ SurfAid is currently planning to conduct mobile clinics in each village on the Banyak Islands. The clinics will focus on measles immunizations for all children aged 6 months to 15 years, deworming of children, malaria control with education and net distribution and nutritional supplementation for children.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous rick said...

Click on rick's name to see photo's:
re: Onolimbu, Nias

We can't comment yet on the submersion being a fault line displacement or subsidence due to soft liquid soils. I saw evidence of a fault line with a step of over a meter well inland.

Incredibly many traditional structures survived the intense shaking fairly well.

Even well built concrete buildings floated through it intact. The real problem is that the entire area is now not only vulnerable to future tsunamis but certain to flood badly.

The tsunami escape vehicles may be needed when the rains come and that is not acceptable. This area needs special attention

There are some interesting steel solutions that Blue Scope Lysaght have developed for flood prone areas. Floors float up the columns keeping everything dry then drop down for ease of access when the waters receed.

Any other ideas?

(steel fails long before concrete does and wood/bamboo fail after concrete. They need to keep their traditional sago/bamboo/natural element homes, birdie)

---------------------------------
BATAVIA AQUA
15 April, 2005

After overcoming some big logistics challenges, our watermaker was delivered aboard the surf charter yacht Sanssouci II via KL and then Langkawai. Electrical compatibility problems delayed final installation but last night we toasted "Batavia Aqua" and our fantastic donors. Thanks to Hamilton Miller LLC of Denver Colorado and especially the congregation of the Jubilee Fellowship Church in Littleton Colorado! Your efforts and the generous discount offered by Village Marine combined to deliver us 5 precious tons of drinking water per day.

ELM volunteer Christina Rambu Mbangi Ledu invited a group of Nias islanders to be first to sample the water after explaining that we pump seawater into the unit and convert it into freshwater.

"Manis! Manis! (sweet) was the verdict. The unit features heavy duty components and Village Marine are one of the largest suppliers to the US Navy. We the best available technology aboard and the unit will have a large impact on our ability to bring relief to remote areas in Nias and Aceh.

Five tons per day is more than the ship needs to remain at sea and the surplus can supply the needs of a village of several hundred people in areas where dry wells need rehabilitation. More importantly, we no longer need to load 90tons of water in port. Batavia can carry over 50tons of extra food supplies to remote areas and extend our field missions.

All aboard Bavavia join me in sending our heartfelt thanks to our donors, their staff, congregations and families. We salute Chris Ranken back in head office for coordination the freight and logistics.

---------------------------------
ONOLIMBU VILLAGE UNDERWATER
15 April, 2005

Have been in the Onolimbu area for the last two days dealing with an extrordinary situation.
Most of the coastal part of Tagaule village submerged during the quake. 58 homes underwater and the rest half buried in mud.

The locals describe great cracks opening in the earth as they ran from their buildings and water gushing up to engulf them. A mile up the coast no subsidence but a 2m high tsunami just after the quake that took out most of the beach front houses. Almost all houses along the coast have been destroyed and a town of 350 will have to be relocated as it is now completely submerged or at best a tidal zone. Some parts seem to have sunk over 2m, maybe as much as 3m.

Some villages just inland have had tents heli dropped but very little food. They do have sago and natural shelter materials but transport is very difficult. Nearest village with any kind of road is 8km through the swamps. River is silted up and blocked with trees that came down cutting that form of transport. No boats capable of the trip to GS left afloat.

We have done medical and most of the distribution now and will move south tomorrow.

Fear for these communities when the rains come. Area is dirt poor and the people very worn out and some seem quite desperate. These people are terrified of future tsunamis. They have nowhere to run. In one village they had made rough timber rafts. The photo shows the most advanced model built by the richest man in town. None of the others had drums in the corners. Tsunami escape vehicles. Heartbreaking to know that they would be useless yet the best that could be done. Feel we could provide a variation on the modified tents we built in Lho Kruet. With bigger drums and better platforms. Small investment would provide great peace of mind for these remote swamp villages.

We had some trouble at first with arguments among villages over our distribution plan but found a way to calm everyone down. Got all the villages to sit separately and then sing traditional songs in rotation. Worked a treat. Pass it on to others.

Where humor is impossible try music.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
MOUNT TALANG ERUPTS NEAR PADANG
13 April, 2005


After 40 years of dormancy, 2,896m Mount Talang erupted violently yesterday sending another wave of panic through Padang and the surroundings. Smoke and ash reached a height of 10,000m and the eruption was heard and felt over a wide area. Talang is a stratovolcano and experts say that there is a high risk of an explosive eruption. Villages in the vicinity of the mountain have been evacuated. No casualties have been reported. Mount Talang is about 35km SE of Padang and less than 10km from the city of Solok. Prevailing winds for this time of the year are from the SE to SW placing both cities in the ash footprint.

Many Padang residents have left the coastal capital over the past 2 days fearing a tsunami after the 6.8 quake on the 10th of April and those who are staying with family and friends in the Solok area must be wondering if anywhere is safe. Mount Talang initially released smoke and ash but last night lava flows were visible from the main highway between Solok and Padang.

Just north of Solok, Lake Sinkarak water levels have been dropping since the quake and there are serious concerns that the hydro electric power plants that tap the lake’s run-off may be affected.

Mid way between Solok and Bukittinggi, Mount Merapi (2,891m) is belching smoke and steam. Talang and Merapi lie on the same major fault line and clearly the recent Mentawai quake has reactivated these long peaceful volcanoes.

Economic activity in Padang has virtually ceased. Schools and Universities are closed, hotels are empty, Government offices are running on skeleton staff or shut. Many multistory buildings are considered unsafe as a result of quake and aftershock damage. Constant tremors associated with the volcanic activity now add to the tension.

Padang (750,000) has experienced multiple panics since the Dec 26th mega quake.

Rumors of rising water, false tsunami alarms and the more recent quakes have stressed the population and slowed construction projects. A large proportion of the population have headed inland to Solok and Bukittinggi where they are now living in the shadow of a chain of giant volcanoes.

SURF AID INTERNATIONAL MOVE IN
Dr Dave Jenkins called yesterday to ask if SAI could move their office to ELM headquarters in our home at Bukit Gado-gado, Padang. The structure of the hotel where the SAI office is located has been compromised by the quake and masonry wall panels are no longer bonded to the concrete structure’s frame. SAI staff Eric Lee described the problems in the old hotel structure over the phone and it is clear that the building is unsafe. Having just observed the ruins of similar structures in Gunung Sitoli and knowing where their hotel office is located, I urged them to move immediately. Earthquake engineers all agree that the vast majority of deaths and injuries from earthquakes are caused by bad buildings. The combination of inadequate foundations, sedimentary or reclaimed subsoil conditions and shoddy structures is particularly deadly.

Jane and I designed our mountain top home with earthquakes in mind. Built on bedrock, the split level house has an organic spiral plan form and the reinforced concrete structure is over-built. Only a week after we installed the glazing Padang was hit by the shockwaves from the devastating Bengkulu quake of June 04 2000. We were staying on the 7th floor of the Bumi Minang Hotel in Padang and the quake severely cracked the walls and broke plate glass windows in several areas. We rushed to the unfinished house and found no sign of cracking or foundation movement at all. Our Padang staff have confirmed that the recent quake caused no cracks or damage.

Most of our Padang staff and their families moved to the house the day of the quake and have remained there since. They will host SAI in our absence. (Jane is fishing in West Australia and I am on Batavia)

--------------------------------------------------------------------
SERIES OF QUAKES HIT NORTHERN MENTAWAIS
11 April, 2005

A 6.8 Quake at 5.29pm yesterday has been followed by a series of large aftershocks. All are centered between Sipura and Siberut in the Mentawai straits.

Padang is undamaged but in panic. There has been a mass exodus of the city and people are camping on high ground. We have heard no reports of damage in Mentawai but the phone lines are jammed and we have not been able to reach our Mentawai office.

Reports from Sanssouci II in South Pagai indicate little or no damage in that area but they have not been able to reach other charter boats in the Northern Islands yet.

Hopefully the release of energy in this series of quakes has spared Padang and the islands from a catastrophic single quake but clearly the fault line is letting go further and futher south.

2005/04/10 10:29 M 6.8 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA Z= 30km 1.62S 99.56E

This information is provided by the USGS
National Earthquake Information Center.
(Address problems to: sedas@ghtmail.cr.usgs.gov)

These parameters are preliminary and subject to revision.

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake IN THE KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA has occurred at:
1.62S 99.56E Depth 30km Sun Apr 10 10:29:13 2005 UTC

Time: Universal Time (UTC) Sun Apr 10 10:29:13 2005
Time Near Epicenter Sun Apr 10 17:29:13 2005

1:48 PM  
Anonymous rick said...

Batavia’s medical teams can work jointly or can split up into 2 or 3 teams depending on the requirements in the field. It was not possible to provide advanced warning of our visit to the local authorities during our initial visits to these areas and it is reasonable to assume that the number of patients that did not hear in time will far exceed the number who could get to the clinics. Ideally Batavia should spend 3-4 days in each area to ensure that more remote villages are given sufficient time to travel to the clinic location or alternatively, to give our teams time to reach these remote areas.

ACCESS ISSUES
Each location visited presents specific challenges. All locations to date are isolated from 4 wheel transport. Motorbikes are the only option for towns on the mainland and the condition of roads is very poor especially after rain. Bridges are either destroyed by tsunami/quake damage or under construction with temporary coconut pole causeways limited to very light traffic. Many of the coconut causeways were damage in the March 28th quake. About 50% of smaller bridges have suffered abutment collapse resulting in very steep approaches and level changes of between 30cm and 60cm. Timber is available in some locations but not all making even motorbike travel dangerous in wet conditions.

Heavy surf restricts landings to a few beaches or coves. Uplift has complicated approaches to these locations and no revised marine charts are available. Each location requires a detailed survey and final approach by speed boat. Very few local boats remain in service after the Dec 26th tsunami.

No security issues encountered by our medical teams and the local community very appreciative of help offered. Rental of local vehicles is expensive. High prices paid by international aid agencies are 3 to 4 times local rates and it is a sellers market. Fuel prices are 200% of the official retail rate. (Rp5-6,000 per ltr).

PROGRESS – COMPLETION
Total catchment we have been asked to assess totals 24,000 persons. The villages included in the clinics to date total less than 6,000 so there is a pressing need to continue this work as soon as possible. A total of 1,310 patient consultations were completed and medications provided to most.

Medical Mission to Simeulue is 25% complete based on RI Govt requests. The remote Salang subdistrict has not been assessed yet.

SUPPORTING MEDICAL AGENCIES
Northwest Medical Teams International, Mirta Peduli, and Obor Berakat.
Total team:
2 Doctors NWM, 1 Surgeon’s Assistant, 1 Reg Nurses
5 Doctors OB, 2 Reg Nurse
3 Doctors MP, 1 Reg Nurse
Total 15 persons

In response to a request by the BUPATI of Simeulue, our teams have visited the following locations:

Date: 8 April 2005
Location: Palau Teupah, Simeulue. Mobile, non permanent site. Access by boat and foot.
Availability of medical care: inadequate
Total Providers: 9
Total Support staff : 6
Total Consultations: Outpatient—154
Total Emergent Referrals—0
Top 3 diagnosis: Upper Respiratory infections, Rashes, Anemia, Suspected Malaria

Date: 8 April 2005
Location: Catchment area** of Sumur (including Puskesmask) Access by boat and foot.
Availability of medical care: Adequate in town but transport very difficult for IDPs in more remote camps.
Total Providers: 1
Total Consultations: Outpatient—survey, less than 10 persons
Total Emergent Referrals—0

Date: 9 April 2005
Location: Catchment area** of Kampung Aie (including Puskesmask) Access by boat and motorbike/trike & borrowed vehicle
Availability of medical care: Adequate in town but transport very difficult for IDPs in more remote camps.
Total Providers: 9
Total Consultations: Outpatient—562
Total Emergent Referrals—0
Top 3 diagnosis: Gastrointestinal complaints, Rashes, Upper Respiratory infections
**Desa Kuta Baru
Desa Latitih
Desa Laureeh
Desa Aie
Desa Lemayang
Desa Kuta Padang

Date: 10 April 2005
Location: Catchment area** of Kampung Aie (including Puskesmask) Access by boat and motorbike/trike & borrowed vehicle
Availability of medical care: Adequate in town but transport very difficult for IDPs in more remote camps.
Total Providers: 9
Total Consultations: Outpatient—594
Total Emergent Referrals—0
Top 3 diagnosis: Anemia, Gastrointestinal complaints, Rashes
**Desa Luansurip
Desa Lambayah
Desa Latubang
Desa Seube
Desa Borengan

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

LATEST NEWS + UPDATES
from the ELECTRIC LAMB MISSION in west sumatra


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NIAS - EASTER ISLAND SYNDROME
17 April, 2005

We ran an anchor watch last night to protect our beach skiffs. One local boat showed up at midnight but anchored nearby and made no trouble.

We know the UN and many NGOs are dealing with far more dangerous situations every day in other parts of the world. We dont feel that any of the anger we see is turning on us. The tactics the gangs use is to create a crowd, press in on the aid and then incite the onlookers to act badly.

The locals dont understand birth control or maybe they are encouraged against it by their churches. Will try to find out more about this. Families have 5,6 7 kids. The forest is gone and the consequences are inevitable.

Easter Island syndrome. Nias could not support its population before the quakes and now their options are running out. Sago is the staple and traditional diet. It could be the answer if cultivated rather than harvested wild. Bamboo could be grown for building rather than the trend over the past 20 years to use concrete. Fishing could bring the area income. The Nias are great seapeople.

There are sustainable options to get the population of the drip but right now we need to feed a lot of people and the answer is the army. TNI secured the coast of Aceh. They could make this easy for the NGOs and I'm sure someone will be working on this... well I hope someone is working on this. Will call a few people I know and see what can be done.

A few army uniforms would fix this. We dont need guns. We are mobilizing our diversion now and will update tonight.


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MERCY MISSION
16 April, 2005

Batavias medical team are sending a serious burns case into town and will try to get him referred to Mercy for skin grafts. Maybe we can ask them for help with charts at the same time.

Rorogo Odraha is an amazing man. He is caring for 2 daughters 4 & 6 years old after the death of his wife 4 years ago during child birth. He is a fisherman and a skilled chainsaw operator. He lost his chainsaw and his boat was damaged during the March 28th quake and tsunami at Tanjung Onolimbu.

He was my guide all day yesterday and we walked for miles. I asked about his limp and he did not want to talk much about it. After a while I noticed stains on his track suit and I saw he was in pain. He told me his story. 9 day after he lost his wife, he tried to fill a pressure lamp and picked up the wrong jerry can in the dark. It was his chainsaw fuel.It exploded buring him and several others. His legs were ablaze and he jumped into the swamp to put them out. Half his house was destroyed.

After months in hospital he was sent home. The burns just wont heal behind his knees and he has to work to support his family every day. New skin grafts are needed and then he will have to lay still till the grafts bond well.

UPDATE Saturday morning: We have just heard from ELM volunteer Marshall Bailey that Rorogo will be helicoptered to the Mercy today for his grafts!

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ONOLIMBU MEDICAL SITUATION REPORT - APRIL 13-15
By Aliza 16 April, 2005

Weighing anchor at daybreak on 4/13, the KM Batavia left Gunung Sitoli and headed for the Onolimbu area on Nias’ SW coast. Arriving just offshore from the village of Tagaule, we could see houses submerged in the water. It appeared that the land in this area had susided (as opposed to the area on the southwestern coast of Simelue, where coral reefs now bake above water in the hot sun). Damage here looked much worse than what we have seen elsewhere. When we took the motorboat to shore, our initial impressions were confirmed. The villagers spoke of the day the earthquake shook their village: “the earth cracked everywhere and water came up out of it, swallowing our village.” The foundations of many of the houses were several meters below the surface of the water, with only rooftops visible. Others flooded with every rise in the tide.

The two villages closest to the sea are Muslim while those further inland are Christian. The mosque in the village of Tagaule had collapsed, and it was a strange sight to see the ruins surrounded by wooden fishing boats and crabs crawling around its perimeter. The Kepala Desa (Village Chief) told us that the bridges in the area were down, so that they were only able to access the larger towns to get supplies and food by walking for 8km through the swamps. They had received some tents and a few supplies by helicopter, but were in great need of food, tools and other aid.

Buckets were filled to be used as family kits (utensils, soap, towels, pots, candles, etc) and we also distributed woks, lamps, kerosene, boots, tarpaulins, nails, wheelbarrows, and other tools. Meanwhile, our medical team set out on foot (in our knee-high boots) to hold a clinic. Carrying our supplies and equipment over 1 km on a muddy trail cracked in some areas from the fault and submerged in other areas, we finally arrived at a schoolhouse in the village of Botohainga. This would be our medical clinic and school for the next two days. The team consisted of OBI, Northwest Medical Team, Mirta Peduli, and ELM doctors and nurses. The villagers here had a wide variety of problems, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), wounds sustained during the earthquake, burns, and other more chronic conditions such as malaria, severe tophaceous gout and elephantiasis. One patient had such severe PTSD that he was practically catatonic. He was alert with a normal neurological exam, but would not utter a sound, stared straight ahead, and held his body in a rigid position. Several patients with infected wounds required debridement.

A total of 380 patients were examined and treated. One patient had severe 3rd degree burns covering the backs of both legs which he had sustained several years previously. The scar tissue was so extensive that it restricted his ability to walk. He had a large open wound on the back of his right knee where the strictures gave way as he straightened his leg. We arranged to transport this patient to Gunung Sitoli by motorbike in the hopes that the USS Mercy will be able to perform a skin graft to the back of his knees enabling him to lead a more normal life.

While the medical team was busy seeing patients and the distribution crew was giving out supplies, Julie and Evika set up class under a tent in the schoolyard. Refugee families had set up tents in the schoolyard and the classrooms had sustained some damage during the earthquake, so that school had not been in session since the most recent tragedy. Julie taught some English and had the children draw. Later, the sound of children singing filled the air. It was a joy to hear happiness in their voices once more. The next day, to our complete surprise, the classrooms had been cleaned and the children had returned in their uniforms. Classes were back in session!

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ELECTRIC LAMB MEDICAL REPORT 13 – 15 APRIL, 2005
16 April, 2005

Supporting Medical Agencies: Obor Berakat, Northwest Medical Team, Mirta Peduli, and St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Medical Center in New York.

Date: April 13 – 15, 2005
Location: Botohainga, Onolimbu area, Nias; Mobile non-permanent site
Availability of medical care: inadequate
Total Physician Providers: 8
Total Consultations: Outpatient – 380
Total Referrals: 1
Total Deaths: 0
Top 3 diagnoses; URI, Skin infections, Anemia

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Sumatran Surfariis said...

APRIL 27th UPDATE

Hello everyone. Sorry for the slight delay on getting this update out, but as you’re about to read, there was a lot of information to sort through. First a quick note: there will be a gallery of Scuzz’s photos with detailed descriptions of each at the bottom of this update. The photos you’ll see as you read through this update were taken by Bowen Ota, one of the Californian passengers on the April 2nd trip – the first surf/relief trip after the March 28th. You can check out more of Bowen’s work at www.aframephoto.com.

Now, on to the update. The things that we continue to hear about and witness in person are simply astonishing. As discussed in previous updates, Scuzz set out on the first leg of our second relief mission on April 2nd, and even with all the stories and information floating around, nothing could truly prepare him for what he saw.

Before departing on their trip, Scuzz heard from Koen Meyers on Siberut, the northernmost island in the Mentawais. Koen, originally from Belgium, is a good friend of Sumatran Surfariis who lives on Siberut. He has spent many years on the island and speaks the language and dialect fluently – Scuzz describes him as “THE Man on Siberut”. Koen has been focusing his time primarily in Maileppet and Muara Siberut on the southeast corner of the island, assessing the damage and the reaction of the people. Contrary to many reports, there WAS some damage on the Mentawais, albeit minor compared to the areas in northern Sumatra. Koen said there is limited damage to the houses, with the worst affected area being the Maura Siberut School, one of only two high schools on the island, and the only public one (see picture at the bottom of the update). Koen said there is one doctor out there from a local yayasan with sufficient medical supplies, and he has treated those that needed help.

The main problem Koen talks about is panic. The locals are catching wind of every rumor and news report, taking them to heart regardless of whether they are blown out of proportion or pure speculation, and they have almost all fled into the hills for fear of a tsunami. Koen recently counted 2,862 people staying up the hills in a refugee camp near Maileppet. The villagers need mosquito nets and tarps/tents to protect them from malaria and the elements. Siberut is like any of the tropical islands in Indonesia – very warm, but rainy and moist – so this is a potential breeding ground for malaria and disease. Many villagers moved with such haste that they didn’t think to bring essential items to protect themselves and keep their living conditions somewhat sanitary. Koen says that the villages further inland are maintaining more of their traditional lifestyle. These villagers are self-sufficient subsistence farmers who are all fine. They live in low lying wooden uma houses and have been through this countless times over their history.

But the villagers that moved from the coastal villages of Muara Siberut and Maileppet are terrified to return to their normal lifestyle. However, this is everyone’s eventual goal, so Koen is somewhat against giving them food and adding too much to their refugee camp. The longer they get used to living like this, the more difficult it will be for them to return to their previous lives of fishing, farming and living off the land. Our boat The Budyadahri was anchored at a small island just south of Siberut when the quake hit and were thrown around a bit. But in terms of surf in Siberut, and the Mentawais in general, the reefs seem almost unchanged. Despite a lot of concern from family members, and rightfully so, our early season surfers have been really happy with the waves and have been scoring with virtually no one around.

As it came time for Scuzz and the guys from California to start their trip, they loaded the boat with and began by working their way up through the southern end of the Telos (also know as the Batu Island Chain). It was an unusual experience for Scuzz and the boys, as Southern Cross had never been that weighted down with supplies, gear, and passengers before. The guys were constantly climbing over sacks of rice, sugar, salt, water containers, noodle boxes, tarps, and baskets of fruit and veggies in those first few days. They were carrying roughly 9 tons of additional cargo on top of a full boat of fuel, water, boards and gear, which caused the boat to ride deeper in the water than Scuzz had ever seen, and definitely caused a loss of a knot or two in speed.

The villagers in the Telos were pretty haired out from all the quakes and could only attain news via radio. Much of what they were hearing was that there was soon to be a big tsunami centered near the Mentawais. The terrified locals told the guys other incredible and unfounded stories they had heard, including one that a big volcano was about to form and rise out of the water between Nias and the Telos. They were told Nias was about to sink under water. Nearly everyday they were told, “There is a tsunami coming tomorrow!” The boys often saw people run out onto the beach during the day and when they went in to investigate, the villagers would say they just had another big quake. Due to all the stories and actual tremors, it’s easy to understand why these people were so frightened, and virtually all the villagers were sleeping in the hills during the night. However, slowly and wearily they are beginning to come back down to the coast during the day to sift through rubble and attempt to build makeshift tents and shelter from the elements that would not cave in on them and kill them if another big quake came. It’s a good sign, but they probably will not return to permanent residence near the coast until the earthquakes and stories subside completely.

For interested surfers reading this, Scuzz and the gang surfed a few waves in the Telos, which seemed to have changed very little. If anything, Scuzz thought it was a touch deeper and that the islands may have sunk very slightly. They could see the erosion on the shoreline, the waves had more backwash on fuller tides, the waves seemed a little fatter – all telling signs that the land actually dropped a bit in this zone of northern Sumatra. This provides further evidence against the early theory that the land had uniformly lifted up throughout northern Sumatra.

As the boys moved further north to Nias, they began dropping supplies in the island villages at the southernmost tip of the island. The damage level was significantly less than Scuzz expected, and the reef was not drastically changed, again appearing slightly deeper. Still, the villagers were really shaken. The boys helped to treat many villagers with large cuts and bruises, many more than Scuzz saw after the December 26th tsunami. And, consistent with reports we’ve received from other parties, Scuzz said the people were also quite aggressive when it came to receiving and distributing the goods. At their first stop, Scuzz and couple of the boys went in and informed the village that they had brought food with them and they wanted to distribute it evenly. This caused all sorts of yelling and commotion, but this is what Nias is about. Scuzz said they are a culture where “the dog with the loud bark gets the bone, and that loud barking dog that doesn’t really think about tomorrow”. Scuzz didn’t take offense, saying it’s just the way they are. In the end it all worked out and they were able to distribute the goods evenly, and the people seemed happy as they moved further north.

Up at Teluk Dalam, however, it was a different story. This was the first time Scuzz had seen the devastation, destruction and death in person, and he painted me a very sad looking picture with a bleak future. The majority of people he saw milling around were military and police. There were piles of burning plastic and rubble all over. The power was very restricted and it was very dark. The houses that were still standing were cracked and badly damaged death traps, waiting to topple. Scuzz reckoned they would all be demolished virtually without a second thought in western civilization. In short, like many of the reports we’ve heard, it resembled a war zone. As the boys walked around with one our local friends, Andi, he would explain who lived where and who died and what had happened. Andi, along with the entire community, was staying up on the hill in one of the refugee camps, where villagers were packed like sardines; all sleeping huddled together under tarps with their few belongings lying next to them. There were a few people singing and playing guitar, but it wasn’t the usual happy singing - it was a kind of soulless dead feeling. The people seemed happy to see they guys, and they didn’t encounter the constant begging or hassling at all. Scuzz felt that was a reflection that these people were just beyond that and/or just numb.

Not far from Teluk Dalam in the famous Lagundri Bay, things didn’t look to bad from a distance as the boys motored into the giant cove. They could tell that some buildings had definitely incurred some damage, but they were still standing and appeared relatively in tact. The first thing they DID notice straight away was that the reef had risen substantially, lifted up by great force. The famous righthander at the bay was small, and what was once a great little peeling right was now just nothing but a burger. Scuzz estimated you’d see at least 40 people surfing on a day with similar conditions prior to the quake, but that day no one, not even the little groms, was giving it a try.

As the boys made their way to land, they got their first little rain squall of the trip, and the locals seemed relieved as they reported it had been stinking hot for the past few days. As Scuzz walked in through the Sibiyak Losmen (a losmen is like an inn or inexpensive hotel), he just couldn’t believe that the main house was gone - not just fallen down, but GONE, washed away, vaporized. This house was where a lot of the long-termers stayed, including our good friends Matt Sherman and Lee. Matt is now working for SurfAid, and we can only imagine how he felt when he saw what happened to his family’s place. This is when they began to realize that the structural damage to this area was far worse than they originally thought. As we mentioned in a previous update, Lagundri Bay suffered a very strong tsunami from the March 28th quake, while surrounding beaches in each direction did not. Lagundri Bay faces south, actually facing away from the epicenter. Yet, it got completely worked by the wave - a lot more than it got worked by the quake. Scuzz mentioned this was due to a funneling effect that the locals have known about for centuries, going back to a previous tsunami in 1833.

Later the boys met up with Uni, the Ding Repair King, and he walked around with the guys for a while, pointing out some of the drastic changes. Uni’s father was one of the bigger landowners on the point at Lagundri years ago, and he had given some of the prime real estate to his sons. Uni had built a nice big house with the help of Moose, a long time Nias resident. Uni had also built up a solid career doing ding repair and fixing the broken surfboards of the many surfers that stay in Lagundri. Over time, he saved up and built a big losmen for his guests out on the edge of the beach. As Scuzz would continually visit Nias, Uni would show him how it was progressing through it’s various stages of development, and he was obviously really proud of it. Today, like the Sibiyak Losmen, it is now flattened, demolished. This included his big stash of surfboards, a number of which had come from guests of Sumatran Surfariis.

As the boys walked up and down Sorake, they kept hearing the same story: there was big shake in the middle of the night, then about 15-20 minutes later, one BIG powerful wave hit. It moved in very fast and simply took out the village, washing houses, their contents and people around, displacing them in random, far-off locations. Somehow, no one was killed and the injuries Scuzz saw weren’t going to affect people in the long run, but the place is really beat up.
Similar to what Scuzz saw in north Simeulue after the Boxing Day tsunami, a few of the houses were literally washed off their foundation and there was nothing left but the concrete slab. Uni helped the boys help in whatever way he could. They eventually distributed all the supplies, and they boys said their goodbyes and moved on to Bawa.

Coming into Bawa, it was obvious to the guys that the place has lifted a huge amount. The reef was WAY out of the water, the keyhole is gone, and the wave has definitely changed. As a result of the lifting, the entire Hinako island chain is a lot larger due to the new expansive coral coastline that is now stretching hundreds of yards off many of the islands, bleaching in the sun. The lift must have been quick and dramatic as there are fish, snakes, eels and all sorts of sea life dead and dried on the newly exposed reef. The boys did about five different drops around these islands, with all the guys hand carrying heavy loads over sharp sun dried coral in tropical heat. Without reef booties or shoes their feet would have been hamburger, but they did it happily and gave out really good vibes and energy to the locals. It was a great effort, and the California guys really deserve a lot of respect and thanks.

Hinako village was really smashed up, and on a few of these islands such as Asu there had been a mass exodus and now few people remained. Many of the villagers still thought their islands were about to sink into the ocean, or that another tsunami was still on its way. The guys dropped off more goods and looked for new waves, and Scuzz finally gave me some good news to report back to the public. He said one island further north the visited was just amazingly beautiful, a lagoon of crystal clear water, with beautiful big coral heads. Overall, they found some new waves, found that some old waves were now impotent, while others were just “different”. In terms of a surf trip, the overall adventure was decent, but far from miraculous. But one thing we’ve learned time and time again about the waves of the Sumatran islands is you need to see them in many swells and conditions to really know their potential. Hence, this next year or two will be ones of discovery and exploration. That’s the reason Scuzz came to Indo, and the reason most involved with our company surf in the first place.

As of the time of this update, Southern Cross is back up in northern Sumatran with Aki, Yu, AK, and a couple of guests, and is again loaded up and delivering aid. They will hopefully have a chance to spend a decent amount of time in Simeulue and the Banyaks, and can report back their findings shortly. We have reports from various geologists that tsunami deposits in Langi Bay (near Alofan Bay in Simeulue) are stunning, with alternating layers of sand and mud. Scientists are saying that the study of these deposits will help determine the size of past tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the world. SurfAid is still in Nias using one of our other boats, Asia, as a makeshift hotel off Gunung Sitoli so that all their workers on land can shower and sleep in a safe comfortable place at night. SurfAid should be commended for their efforts on Nias – they are doing great work providing relief items and necessary medical aid to some of the most damaged areas. They also helped us load the cargo boat Mawar Indah in Sibolga so we could all distribute more goods to Sirombu and Teluk Dalam. Sumatran Surfariis’ own Ovi, who has just been a superstar in the relief effort, is also on Asia and doing all he can to help coordinate the relief effort in Nias.

Speaking of Ovi, he just got back from his home island of Bawa where he watched Kelly Slater and Friends tear up the place in what is now a completely different wave. Without giving too much away, Bawa used to do a fair imitation of Sunset Beach on Oahu when firing on all cylinders. Now, it is apparently a shorter, steeper, quicker version with more pockets and quick hollow barrels. Depending on who you are and your ability level, that could be good news or bad news. As a goofyfoot who has had his arse handed to him on big days out there, it doesn’t sound too shabby to me. ;) But, apparently the conditions were just fine for the pros, as Ovi said Slater was going mental in the conditions. As stated earlier, we’ve already found some new good waves, some improved ones, and some “different” ones. But part of our mission is to keep our secrets with our customers, so you’ll just have to take our word for it that waves are still out there, and we intend to find new ones. It will take us a while to get it sussed, but we look forward to that adventure.

Ovi also reported that our fruit and veggie garden on Bawa is still moving ahead nicely. They have cleared the necessary land, treated the soil, and the fence is coming along strong. Ajo the horticulturalist we will be looking at sending up all the seeds soon, and hopefully the villagers on Bawa will begin seeing the fruits (and veggies) of their labor soon. Again, this project is all made possible thanks the many teachers at the Woodleigh School in Victoria who donate a small portion of their salaries each month to help the villagers attain their goal of long-term sustenance. And the teachers at Woodleigh aren’t the only ones who are going out of their way to help. Troy Depuydt is heading up a crew of six Central Californian and Pacific Northwest surfers that are trying to raise money to buy as many relief and rebuilding items as possible to help those affected in northern Sumatra. However, not only are they raising the funds, they will be using the dollars raised to purchase and hand deliver the goods IN PERSON to the communities in need during their upcoming trip starting June 11th on Southern Cross. Some of their friends like Pablo Shute, Erin Breeze, and Hilary Edwards have already donated to their cause, and they expect more to come.

This is a truly amazing gesture, and we can only think that it would ADD to their surf trip. For any surfer considering doing a similar mission, but is worried that the hardships in northern Sumatra might taint or diminished their experience, I’d like you to read the words of Matt Carrillo and Mike Stenkilsson below. Matt and Mike were two of the passengers on this recent April 2nd relief/surf trip, and I asked them to give me their thoughts on their overall experience:

Matt Carrillo:
" I don't see how any other trip can be more gratifying than this. This was my first time to Indo and although we didn't score epic surf the whole time we were lucky enough to take part in the relief efforts. Visibly, Lagundri Bay and Tuluk Dalam were by far the worst off. It was hard to take in because even after our efforts you still wanted to be able to do more for these people who now live in what looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone. We learned first hand from the locals of Lagundri about the destruction that took place in their village. The devastation was enormous and I found it hard to believe that this town was once a thriving tourist stop. Even after dropping supplies we were compelled to help out by either buying a t-shirt, donating clothes, or just giving rupiah to those who desperately needed it. One woman in particular was moving what belongings remained from her house with her two little kids. After hearing her story, Darren went back to our boat and came back to the woman's house to give her 150,000 rupiah. This touching moment was expressed by the woman as she began to cry and gave Darren a hug. It would have been nice to help everyone out, but we did what we could and it felt great to achieve that. I must admit at first I felt like it was going to be an annoyance to help considering it was our vacation, but after dealing with it all it really added to the experience of the trip. When you step back and think about it, it is not so hard to help. You're on your way through the area anyway, so the time it takes to lend a hand is minimal in comparison to the time you get to spend surfing and enjoying yourself and friends. Despite their desperate times the people were all very happy to extend a greeting and a smile…. "

Mike Stenkilsson:
"When I decided that our surf trip would also be a relief effort to the effected island of Nias and some of it's surrounding islands, my mind started to create all kinds of scenarios that we may face. Like most things in life, my expectations were not completely on target. No amount of foresight can prepare you for a parent offering their eleven-year-old daughter in attempt to give her a better life or seeing a whole village destroyed. These people need immediate help! Food, water and supplies are definitely needed in the short term, but the thing that these people need most comes from within....HOPE! Resilience is a trait that humans have mastered but it doesn't come to fruition until there is some degree of hope. I had the wonderful opportunity to see it first hand on the faces of a mother and her young son after treating him for an infected burn on his foot. The mere fact that a westerner was present and showed compassion was enough to give them the inner strength to smile and express gratitude despite their overwhelming situation. The little things do count so get out there and an enjoy the people and....oh yeah, the waves are still perfect with new waves to discover!"

That pretty much brings you up to date with our latest findings and relief efforts, but I’m sure we’ll have more to report back soon, so keep checking the updates. We’d like to ask that you consider donating to our relief effort. There is information on how to make a tax-deductible donation directly to our mission through the Clean Ocean Foundation here. Clean ocean will issue you a receipt which you can file for your taxes, and we can personally guarantee you that we will use the money in the most grass roots way there is – by traveling to the most remote, inaccessible places in Northern Sumatra and delivering aid and medical attention in person to those who need it most.

Hope you enjoyed the update. Terima kasih.

SLAYER
Web Dork/Arch Angel of Relief

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

CATCH 22 - FUEL BLUES

by Electric Lamb Mission @ 6:40 AM

The Nias quake coupled with tsunami relief efforts further north is placing a heavy load on existing infrastructure in the region. The March 28th quake destroyed a large section of Singkil harbor and township and Sibolga is the next accessible port down the coast. The harbor is tiny and now totally overloaded as LCDs and Ro-Ro ferries wait for dock space to load trucks.
...Catch 22... so near yet so far...USN Yukon refueling USNR Mercy
just a few miles from BATAVIA Wednesday last week
BATAVIA ran low on fuel on the SE coast of Nias last week. We checked all options and even arranged to load fuel at sea from the US Navy.

They had just bunkered from a tanker and had plenty so we called up the captain of the Niagara Falls to see if they could help. We explained that we wanted to continue our work and that the only alternative was to steam all the way to Sibolga and wait in line. The answer was a thumbs up and we agreed to head to calm water in the lee of Nias about 2 hours north. The sea was glassy flat and ideal to raft up so Niagara Falls sent a RIB over to check us out. Their engineers came aboard and measured and photographed our fuel filler cap so they could match it up with their hoses. Captain Dan on NF agreed that refueling was feasible but asked us to wait while he checked with head office.... a long wait turned into hours. Finally he called and said "Sorry, our onboard legal advisor says we have liability problems... oil spill risk in Indonesian waters..... regret it is No Go".

After thanking Dan and his crew for trying so hard to make it work we started engines and headed for Sibolga. A quick phone call to our agent confirmed what we feared. No fuel in town and no dock space! I urged him to try all avenues and advised him that we could get fuel tankers to drive down from Medan if there was no other alternative.

Thursday morning we were anchored in the outer harbor. After half a day of meetings and phone calls our agent smiled and said. "Good news! Pertamina (state owned fuel company) say their tanker is due in port next morning so we don't need the tankers from Medan" Sounded good, except for one tiny detail. We had missed banking hours, Friday was a national holiday, and the funds we had arranged were in a Medan bank!

Making the best of a bad situation we agreed that the ships crew could take some R&R over the weekend and we arranged for fueling and dock space on Monday morning.

Sounded like we were all set. Our fresh NW Medical team arrived on Saturday and we arranged for more boat drivers to drive up from Padang.

Monday morning we arranged to cash our funds in Medan and walk them to our agent's bank to ensure they would clear instantly so he could pay Pertamina and get the PO for the fuel as fast as possible... and then the call came. "The Sibolga branch of BNI is off line and they are trying to fix it!" We waited and waited and watched as our slot on the pier was taken by another ferry. The agent called "they have fixed the computer and I am standing in a long line" Bank customers had been waiting all day. The line at state owned BNI got slowly shorter but the clock hit 3pm and true to form the bank staff told the rest of the crowd to go home! Kissed goodbye a Monday departure and resigned ourselves to Tuesday.

Made sure our agent was first in line at the bank and walked our cash to Pertamina. Got our PO from them and left the agent to find us somewhere to load. At 2pm he managed to get BATAVIA alongside a Ro-Ro ferry and we were given permission to drive our water and fuel tankers on and off as they filled us. Water went smoothly... and then the knock on my hotel door. The agent was standing there, hat in hand and in this culture that is bad news. "Pertamina say they still have no fuel"

Resisting a strong urge to say something less than charitable about the state of the state, I bit my tongue and asked "Why did they take our money if they had no fuel?"

I knew that I was asking a question that could not be answered but sometimes I forget where I am and think that it should not be this way. Wednesday is a new day and we will try again. My mind turns to an old joke about lawyers and the Atlantic.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Ray said...

April 24, 2005

Sinabang, Simeulue, Indonesia


Capt. Ray Williamson and the Maruta Jaya arrived in Sinabang on schedule April 20 with the large shipment of relief aid. The logistical situation is dynamic, but they expect to head either north to Bandah Ache or south to the island of Nias as appropriate to best serve the needs of the Indonesian people.

April 19, 2005
Medan, Indonesia
3:30 p.m. local time

Maruta Jaya From Capt. Ray Williamson: I am anxious to board the Maruta Jaya. She is due to arrive in Sinabang on the island of Simeulue tomorrow morning local time. This island southwest of the large island of Sumatra was the closest landfall to the epicenter of the great tsunami in December. Besides being one of the worst affected areas, it has the added disadvantage of being one of the most remote islands and has been under-served since the beginning.

It is exciting to think that in just over 24 hours, we will be arriving with probably the largest single shipment of relief supplies to reach the island. Until now, Chris Scurrah of Sumatran Surfariis, Matt George of Sumatran Surfzone Relief Operation and others have been servicing the island in small vessels. Chris was actually the first person to respond immediately after the disaster with his surf charter boats. His reconnaissance proved invaluable to many NGOs that followed. Matt, who originally came to write an article for Surfer Magazine, decided to roll up his sleeves and help instead. He is currently on his third mission aboard the Micumba, a 37-ton local cargo boat.

Raymond, my traveling companion and valued assistant, will fly together with me to meet the ship. The time ashore has been well spent working on logistics and meeting important people. Mr. Asad, head of Care in Medan, has been a gracious host, allowing me to share his office, providing a driver and secretarial staff, and communicating with his supervisors in Banda Aceh on my behalf.

Yesterday we met Mr. Jan Bolling of UNOCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and other members of the UN team. We registered with them, and Windjammer Relief Effort is now officially recognized as an international tsunami relief organization. Our initiatives, when reported, will be posted on their web site.

We are invited to a logistical meeting to be held later this morning at the airport where we will be introduced to representatives of many other NGOs and given the opportunity to speak of our mission. We continue to seek another organization to partner with us for our next mission in early May.

Medan is a beautiful city, not what I expected. It has wide streets and much green space. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful.
Simeulue and Nias islands lie southwest of the large island of Sumatra in Indonesia.Last night we finally met Bulolo. A Nias native, he now lives in Holland. Eight years ago he founded an NGO called Howu-Howu, which in his native dialect means "charity". My communications with him have been a huge inspiration, keeping me focused on the importance of this mission. His efforts, as well as many others, have been well documented on the web site CathaySeas.com.

It is amazing how many people from all over the world have responded to this natural disaster. By day we meet with NGO leaders as we travel from office to office. By night we meet aid workers in hotel lobbies and restaurants learning of efforts both large and small. This evening we also met Natasha Phillips, an Australian native now living in New York and working for a major recording company. She and her partner have an organization called Harmonikids. For the past several years, they have been traveling around teaching disadvantaged children, mostly terminally ill, to play an instrument. They have come here for four months with over 1000 instruments and will travel from village to village leaving behind their gift of music as well as the instruments. I told her of our adopted orphanage and school, Yayasan Fajar Hiddyah in Banda Aceh, and she will definitely do a program there.

Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be on ground zero. I will report back at my first opportunity.

Peace,
Captain Ray Williamson

April 12, 2005
Capt. Ray Williamson is in Jakarta to meet up with the Maruta Jaya, the motor-assisted sailing cargo vessel that he chartered for a humanitarian relief effort there.

In a partnership between Care International and the Windjammer Relief Effort sponsored by Capt. Ray, the Maruta Jaya is loaded with 800 tons of supplies to be delivered to the islands of Nias and Simeulue. They lie southwest of Sumatra and were hit April 11 by an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale. Aftershocks continued throughout the week, and additional relief trips are planned in the region.

The Maruta Jaya is loaded with 800 tons of supplies from Care International. Supplies onboard for the current trip include 350 tarps; 3,350 jerry cans; 77,500 water purification kits; 450 kitchen sets; 4,700 stoves; 3,350 water taps; 5,000 hygiene kits; and two truckloads of rice.
Also onboard for delivery by Care are 5,000 family kits, each containing kitchen supplies, soap, five pairs of sandals, five sarongs, and five sleeping mats.
The Windjammer Relief Effort is supported by friends and acquaintances of Capt. Ray and Ann Williamson, owners of Maine Windjammer Cruises, and by the local community. A fundraiser at the Camden Snow Bowl in March raised more than $7,000 for the relief project.
Assistance from the Indonesian area was also helpful in putting together the first trip. The Indonesian Navy donated the rice, and Capt. Gita, operations director of Admiral Lines and president of the Indonesia Sail Training Association, helped by arranging use of the Navy dock for loading in Jakarta.
Unloading and distribution will be assisted by the Howu-Howu organization, which is dedicated to improving the welfare of the inhabitants of Nias and Simeulue, and by other grassroots organization.
Capt. Ray will be reporting on his trip whenever he has internet access. If the Indo Relief porthole is active on our home page, you can access his updates directly. If this What's New porthole is active, you will find information about our upcoming sailing season as well as a direct link to Capt. Ray's logs. Longer stories and more photos will appear in our e-newsletters.

To read the back story on Capt. Ray's Windjammer Relief Project, sign up for our e-newsletter. The current issue will be sent to you immediately; links to stories in previous issues will be available from a column on the left. Please be sure to set your email to accept a bulk mailing from news@mainewindjammercruises.com.

Capt. Ray will be back for the beginning of our sailing season, but while he is gone, Captains Joe and JR and crew are fitting out the boats. Our phone is ringing with passengers taking advantage of current specials and low preseason rates. (Note that the weekend shakedown cruise on May 20 is only $395!)

We continue to contribute a portion of each reservation to the Windjammer Relief Effort.

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