Monday, April 04, 2005

General News & Comments

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aka the SEA-EAT blog. News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts.


22 Comments:

Blogger Birdie said...

For updates from Sumatran Surfariis

http://www.sumatransurfariis.com/

5:01 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

School Supplies needed NIAS

Indonesia Earthquake Destroys Schools

2 hours, 29 minutes ago 4/4/2005



By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer

GUNUNG SITOLI, Indonesia - Children returning to schools Monday for the first time since last week's earthquake in Indonesia found classrooms destroyed and teachers missing

At the Santo Xaverius school, about 100 students sat on the basketball court looking at the remains of their three-story school, where the top floor had caved in.


"I heard that school will start today but I am disappointed because I have been told there will be no studies," said Kurnia Faahakhododo, 19, a high school senior.


Thousands of other students in Nias' main town, Gunung Sitoli, turned back in disappointment. Most school buildings were damaged and many teachers had not turned up.


At least 647 people, including 616 on Nias, have been confirmed killed in the 8.7-magnitude earthquake on March 28, national police spokesman Col. Zainuri Lubis said.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

BANDA ACEH, April 2 (Bernama) -- Almost all elementary and high school buildings in Simeuleu district in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam were destroyed by the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Sumatra last Monday, the Antara News Agency reported.

"Almost all school buildings on the island were destroyed and can no longer be used," Teuku Alamsyah Banta, head of the local education office, said on Saturday.

Before the earthquake, Simeuleu island, a district of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) province adjoining Nias district in North Sumatra, had a total of 169 schools, he said.

They included seven kindergartens, 104 elementary schools and nine Islamic elementary schools, he added.

The others were 28 junior high schools, eight Islamic junior high schools, eight senior high schools, three Islamic senior high schools and two vocational schools, he said.

All of the school facilities were also damaged by Monday's tremor and the Dec 26 tsunami, he added.

A total of 1,081 school buildings in Nangrroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) were damaged by the two disasters.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

an Australian surfer who was missing in the Banyak Islands is also safe and well, and he has an amazing tale to tell. Marcus Keeshan's boat was sailing just 100 kilometres north of the epicentre, when the earth's plates shifted on Monday night.

He and his friends survived to tell the story, as Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: For two terrifying hours, Marcus Keeshan and his friends were thrown from one side of his boat to the other. They were sailing east from Simeulue Island to the Banyak Islands late on Monday night when the earthquake struck.

MARCUS KEESHAN: We were down below in the saloon watching a movie, and we felt some very strange movement. For about two minutes the boat rose and fell really sharply.

I was with my friend Angus – he's from Geelong – and my girlfriend, and we went upstairs to ask the crew what was happening, and they said earthquake, they confirmed it straight away, earthquake. And we were obviously worried about a tsunami.

ALISON CALDWELL: Marcus Keeshan knows the area well, he's lived and surfed there for the past seven years, and he'd never seen anything quite like this before.

MARCUS KEESHAN: The sea was flat, calm, nothing, so we went back below to keep watching the movie, and then about 20 minutes later the water just started rushing, like, with an incredible force, probably 10 or 15 knots of current moving in one direction.

The boat was dragging anchor, the current moved 180-degree swing. And then it happened again, the third time the current changed. It rushed for, what?… (consults with friend) 20 minutes it'd rush for, wouldn't it?

Like, big waves. It was like we were motoring along. The current had changed direction, and in between the change it would go calm for a short period, just totally, yeah, for maybe a minute or two, or five minutes, completely calm, dead clam.

Yeah, and then all the same debris that went past the boat would all start rushing back the other way. So, we were getting washed around, and we were quite scared.

ALISON CALDWELL: How long did this last?

MARCUS KEESHAN: Maybe, maybe two hours.

ALISON CALDWELL: He and his brother Miles run the surf safari travel company Gaia. They've been raising money to help rebuild the Indonesian islands worst hit by the Boxing Day tsunami, and now the Easter Monday earthquake. Missing since Monday night, Marcus Keeshan contacted his family in Victoria last night to tell them he was safe and well.

Meanwhile in Simeulue, where aid workers had originally feared the worst, quick thinking and simple wooden houses saved thousands of lives. Bernd Schell is with the International Committee of the Red Cross. He visited the island yesterday.

BERND SCHELL: Fortunately the structure of the houses, and this is very true for the more rural areas, are wooden, so these are very flexible structures, they are quite weak, they are partly collapsed, but nobody really died inside these buildings.

But people now at all these places are on the roads, they are living outside, they don't go back to their houses, they make makeshift shelters with tarpaulins and whatever they get from the relief organisations.

In the city of Sinabong, where we have seen most of the victims, around two dozen I think will be more or less the number, concrete buildings more or less collapsed. Most of the people survived and went to higher ground at that point of time. The number is probably much higher than 30, 40 at the end of the week.

ALISON CALDWELL: Which is much better than what was feared in the first place, isn't it?

BERND SCHELL: Yes, I think we are very lucky that it's not more severe, but still the people need a lot of support. I think that most of these houses you can never repair, so in the long-term maybe there is quite some need of assistance.

The present needs with water, with food, with shelter materials are covered through the relief organisations. Luckily many around on long-term projects already have still some stock, but there will be longer term needs for the people in reconstructions.

TONY EASTLEY: Bernd Schell from the Red Cross, ending Alison Caldwell's report.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

GUNUNGSITOLI, Indonesia — Rescue efforts sputtered Friday against broken roads, fuel shortages and a legacy of mistrust between civilians and the government, leading to frustration among survivors of a massive earthquake that hit the remote island of Nias.

Many survivors complained that there was little to eat or drink. Some wore masks to cover the stench of decomposing, unburied bodies.



Relief work is limited to what can be moved by helicopter. The damage has made it impossible to move outside Gunungsitoli, the island's largest town, on anything bigger than a motorcycle.
"The aid is so slow," said Alwizaro Mendrofa, 35, a village chief, as he typed the names of survivors from his town on a borrowed typewriter in Gunungsitoli. "Yesterday I asked the district chief for some food and aid for my people, but the chief said he had to have data of how many refugees in my village, and how many houses were damaged.
"Bureaucracy is everything. Meanwhile, the people are starving," he said.

At least 518 people died in the earthquake, according to the United Nations, though officials predict the number could rise to 1,300 as searchers reach more remote areas.
The damage has flattened homes and buildings across Nias and neighboring islands such as Simeulue, where at least 17 people were reported dead and some villages were destroyed. A fifth of Nias' 100,000 people are reported to be without shelter and drinking water, said the International Organization for Migration.

Rescuers did report one bright spot this morning, however. They heard a man calling weakly for water from beneath the rubble, Associated Press reported.

Monday's magnitude 8.7 quake, one of the strongest on record in 100 years, struck off the western coast of Sumatra island.

The rescue effort has been made easier by the relief operations begun after the tsunami caused by the huge temblor of Dec. 26. Hundreds of workers and large stockpiles of aid are already in the area, based in Banda Aceh, about 250 miles from the recent quake's epicenter. They were able to reach the islands quickly.

The World Health Organization said it had enough medical staff on the ground to deal with the injured on Nias.

But it has proved harder to get heavy lifting equipment and emergency supplies to the island. There is still a shortage of helicopters. Bodies remain trapped in rubble and many islanders are digging with their bare hands.

The relief operation has been hampered by a bottleneck at the damaged local airport. Trucks loaded with supplies, including water and body bags, have been dispatched to the islands on boats. But stormy weather has slowed their passage, forcing at least two ferries to turn back.

"Even in normal conditions, Nias island has very limited transportation and communication access," said Eddy Sofyan, an official with the government in North Sumatra province.

Sofyan said there was a desperate need for equipment to repair roads. Uprooted asphalt has cut off a main fuel depot. And heavy rains have added to the soup of mud and concrete, making routes all but impassable.

With roads blocked, the dead cannot be moved from temporary morgues to be buried. And many survivors, stricken by fear of aftershocks and possible tsunamis, have fled to higher ground, making it harder for aid workers to reach them.
Government officials insisted relief would reach survivors and appealed for patience.

Sofyan suggested that the islanders do not trust the government. "The people of Nias are suspicious that the aid will not be distributed evenly."

7:16 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

4/4
Nias, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Some 100 earthquake victims thronged the office of the Nias district head on Monday to protest the slow distribution of relief aid.

The demonstrators hailing from different areas in quake-ravaged Nias Island, such as Afulu, Pembolata, Sisobahili, Gomo and Sorake met with Nias Deputy District Head Agus Menrofa who asked them to be patient.

They became involved in a strong argument with members of the disaster mitigation task force but it did not turn into a physical clash.

So far, the task force with the help of domestic and foreign relief workers has distributed 300,000 liters of fuel oil, and 325 tons of rice and evacuated about 200 quake victims from Nias to Medan, capital of North Sumatra, for medical treatment.

By Monday the death toll in the magnitude 8.7 earthquake that struck the island last Monday reached 503.(*)

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Howu -Howu said...

From Howu-Howu http://www.howu-howu.org

EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NIAS AGAIN, 28 march 2005

PRESS RELEASE 03 APR. 2005
------------------------------

Thousands of refugees from Nias
arriving in Sibolga and thousands are on their way. The fear, foodshortages and the rumor that Nias is sinking into the ocean make the inhabitants of Nias go on the fly in vast numbers.

The people of Nias take the first boat to Sibolga (Sumatra) they can get. They are terrified for more tremors and the arise food shortages on the island. The refugees in most cases have lost everything and make camp in the streets near the habour of Sibolga, when they have arrived on the main land.

The local authorities of Sibolga do their best to take care of the refugees, but they simply arrive in too large numbers. Ambulances are driving around to look for wounded people.

The refugees are terrified to death and are trying to hide. They are afraid the authorities will send them back to Nias.

Not far from the place where the refugees have made campsites, 80 trucks with emergency goods are waiting to cross the sea to Nias.

Because of a lack of ships, they’re waiting with the cargo fot ships to take them to Nias. Within several yards they’re standing in front of each other, on one site the refugees and on the other side the trucks on their way to Nias.

At sea there are another thousands of refugees on their way to Sibolga. This town must be helped with the receiving of refugees from Nias.

In Telukdalam, in the south of Nias, the situation is as bad as in Gunung Sitoli. The sealevel has rise for more than 1 metre. The people are afraid of tsunami’s and floods as well for earthquakes.

The food situation is alarming. The inhabitants Telukdalam are searching for food in the rubbish. No ship did sail out from Sibolga to Telukdalam in the past six days! The first boat to leave for Telukdalam will sail today. The expectation is that there will be a lot of people waiting for a boat to flee the south of Nias to Sibolga.

Ten thousand refugees are expected in Sibolga.
Emergency measures must be taken quickly.


End Press release.

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Howu-Howu has launched a fund-raising appeal on the 26th of december 2004, with the aim of offering direct aid to the inhabitants on Nias who have been affected by the undersea earthquake. There is a team in the Netherlands which is responsible for organising money collections and coordinating the aid on Nias and a team on Nias (inhabitants of the island itself) which brings the aid to all the affected areas of the island.
In the first two weeks following the tsunami, the aid supplied by Howu-Howu consisted of food and drink.

The second stream of aid that was transported to Nias consisted of clothing, toiletries (soap, combs, toothpaste, towels etc.) and kitchen equipment (camping stoves, pans, wooden spoons, plates and knives).
This aid was distributed in the south, central area and northwest of Nias.

The third stream of aid consisted of supplying school equipment (school uniforms, school bags, pens, exercise books etc.) and raw building materials (bags of cement) to the worst affected areas. More than € 20.000,- has been spent on PROVIDING Nias with direct aid.

The phase of providing emergency aid is almost complete and Howu-Howu is now proceeding to the reconstruction phase. Large sums of money are still needed for this phase, money to help give the people of Nias a future. During the reconstruction phase, Howu-Howu wants to help build a roof over the inhabitants’ heads (repairing and rebuilding houses), together with the inhabitants, provide them with a means of existence (fishing boats and nets, agricultural machinery and small tools) and organise basic medical care in the areas where it is not yet available.

NOW AGAIN WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR HELP AFTER THE SECOND EARTHQUAKE, WHICH CAUSED FAR MORE DAMAGE TO NIAS AND THE VICTIMS MAKE YOUR DONATION!


Flyers and posters have been distributed in Dordrecht, Breda and Amsterdam.
You can download them here on-line;

12:14 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Everybody - please spread the word!

On Nias they are afraid that the island will sink.

The constant aftershocks and lack of education/communication is letting their fear get them.

Please see that relief workers tell everyone that the aftershocks are NORMAL

The Islands are RISING - they will not sink into the ocean

They need to collect rainwater

Calm down

Sleep outdoors

Stay away from manmade things made of concrete, brick, loose trees.

If shaking is very hard, everyone needs to go to high ground and wait.

Other than that...

Everything is perfectly OK.

Aid is on the way.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

April 4

SEA


* UNJLC has coordinated the linking up of IOM and POSKO staff in Sibolga to coordinate sea lift operations to Nias and surrounding area. The link-up should take place in Sibolga in the next day or two.

* Maritime transport options are being evaluated particularly with a view to INGOS and NGO ferrying vehicles of relief aid and to alleviate congestion at the port. Currently large numbers of IDPs and crowding the port and are filling the limited ferry capacity off the island.


* Security at the port of Gunung Sitoli is problematic due to overcrowding and a lack of control.

* GoI and the port authorities are addressing this issue.

* An aerial assessment of the northern coast of Simeulue is underway to identify alternate landing points sea craft access.

* WFP’s port captain and boat captain have been assessing the Sinabang port, whose two wharves were damaged on 28 March, and is planning a mission by helicopter to at least three other locations in the northern half of the island.

* MSF is planning to set up medical tents in Teupah Barat and Simeulue Tengah but is facing difficulties due to high seas as the distribution would be by boats.

* Two LCTs (WFP’s of 400MT and CRS’ of 800MT) have arrived with NFIs and FIs for distribution.


* Currently, supplies in Gunung Sitoli are sufficient for these vessels to continue to load form Gunung Sitoli and distribute along the Lahewa, Sirombu, Teluk Dalam route. (CRS report that this distribution route was requested by the governor.)

* CRS is providing freight to a variety of IOs and local partners. (Contact: Patrick Johns in Banda Aceh CRS Emergency Director – 0811898948)

* Surf Aid International is providing six boats to transport humanitarian goods on Nias. Coordinated by Mr. Eric Lee: 0813 632 39216 or 0812 6634 556.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Howu-Howu said...

05 04 2005 22.00 hrs.

TEAM HOWU-HOWU EN ROUTE TO DELIVER 40 TONNES OF FOOD

The HOWU-HOWU team is en route to southern Nias to deliver 40 tonnes of food, 3 generators and first-aid bandages. They will be arriving in Telukdalam within the next few hours. The idea is to set up 4 HOWU-HOWU aid stations in three areas, two in Telukdalam, one the village of Bawomataluo and one in the vicinity of a village on the western side. These will all be in southern Nias. The costs of these goods have been covered by a € 30,000,- donation made by the Dutch Red Cross. The Luxembourg organisation Alindo-Tsunami Help for Indonesia and the French translation company Polyglotte have also donated € 2.000 ,- and € 3.000,- to HOWU-HOWU respectively. Today, the team has been in touch with the bupati of southern Nias by mobile telephone. The whole region suffers from food shortages and there are no other organisations who are providing food aid either. This is a famine situation. The aid that HOWU-HOWU is about to deliver is of vital importance.

The team has also spoken to the mayor of Sibolga about looking after the homeless from Nias. People who have money travel on to other towns where they have relatives. People who have no money remain stranded in Sibolga and live there on the streets without a roof above their heads and without any food. The mayor wants to do whatever has to be done for the homeless and is trying to provide accommodation for these people in a school building. Together with Howu-Howu, a soup kitchen is being set up for the people who have fled Nias. HOWU-HOWU has supplied water, rice and vegetables. As soon as the food situation on Nias has stabilised, it will have to be determined whether these people can be returned to Nias with HOWU-HOWU’s help.


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05 04 2005 17.15 hrs.

200,000 PEOPLE ON NIAS IN DIRE NEED OF FOOD

A week after the huge earthquake on Nias, tens of thousands of people on the island still have not received any form of relief. The earthquake has caused widespread devastation, not only in terms of human life, but it has also damaged churches, schools, houses, bridges, roads, airfields and harbours. Large areas of the island are inaccessible. There is no electricity anywhere on the island and landline telephones are not working either. The World Food Programme has calculated that 200,000 people on Nias will have to rely on food aid provided by aid organisations for at least another 60 days. Attempts to start distributing this food aid are being hindered by damaged airfields, harbours and roads, and by bad weather. During the first days after the earthquake, there was heavy rain and there have been aftershocks all the time. Almost a hundred aftershocks have occurred since the Easter Monday earthquake, including quakes measuring 5.5 and 6.1 on the Richter scale. Operations are also being delayed in Sibolga (this is where the boats for Nias depart). Most aid organisations are using lorries to try and get the aid to the disaster area. In Sibolga harbour, dozens of lorries carrying aid supplies are waiting to be taken to Nias because there are not enough boats. The first unsettling reports of people dying from lack of food or trying to stay alive by eating the roots of plants have already reached the aid organisations.

The Howu-Howu team delivered 4 tonnes of aid to northern Nias on 31 March and will deliver 40 tonnes of food to southern Nias in a chartered cargo vessel on 5 April. In the south, no start has yet been made in setting up any kind of food aid. Aid organisations such as Howu-Howu face enormous transport costs to charter boats, lorries or mopeds. This leads to huge problems for an organisation with limited resources such as Howu-Howu. But there can be no further delay. This will lead to even more people dying a week after the earthquake. Survivors of the earthquake will soon fall victim to the food shortages. Howu-Howu will do everything in its power to deliver food to wherever it is needed. But we cannot do this without your support. This is why we are kindly requesting you to hold fund-raisers in your churches for the victims on Nias or to make your donation to giro 7653180, account name Stichting Howu-Howu in Dordrecht. Thank you all for your support.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Howu-Howu said...

Press Releases from Howu-Howu

04/04 - 03/28

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04 04 2005 22.00 hrs.

EARTHQUAKE ON NIAS NOT A NATIONAL DISASTER

According to the Indonesian government, the earthquake on Nias was not serious enough to speak in terms of a national disaster. This means that the province that Nias is part of, North Sumatra, will be responsible for setting up and coordinating the relief effort on Nias. The authorities have indicated that emergency aid is urgently necessary in the form of medical aid, water and sanitary facilities, food, heavy-duty equipment for rescue work and road clearing, generators, housing and body bags. The World Food Programme has calculated that food aid will be necessary for an estimated 200,000 inhabitants of Nias for (at least) the next 60 days. Attempts to start distributing this food aid are hindered by damaged airfields, damaged harbours and by bad weather (during the first days after the earthquake, there was heavy rain). Operations are also being delayed in Sibolga. Most aid organisations are using lorries to try and get the aid to the disaster area. Yesterday in Sibolga harbour, eighty lorries carrying aid supplies were waiting to be taken to Nias because there were not enough boats. There are aftershocks all the time; almost a hundred have occurred since the Easter Monday earthquake. These include fairly heavy quakes measuring between 5.5 and 6.3 on the Richter scale. The survivors have been traumatised and are terrified of further earthquakes, and they have no food or water. Most people dare not sleep indoors, as they are afraid that everything will collapse. The Indonesian government has not declared this a national disaster and has not submitted a formal request for international aid. Several governments have, however, sent aid to the affected area, including Japan, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and the US.

One of the aid organisations is YTB. They have managed to reach the Lahewa district despite extremely difficult circumstances. What they found there was tragic. The 1171 inhabitants of 26 villages are living in camps as their houses have been damaged or destroyed. People were trying to stay alive by eating coconut flesh or the roots of other plants. They had no more rice. 31 had already died in this district. As there was no equipment to recover the bodies that were buried beneath the rubble, there was a terrible stench across the whole area. This is just the story of one area on Nias. We fear that the situation will be comparable in many other areas. Aid organisations such as YTB and Howu-Howu face enormous transport costs to charter boats, lorries or mopeds. This leads to huge problems for us as we have limited resources. But there can be no further delay. This will lead to even more people dying a week after the earthquake. Survivors of the earthquake run the risk of dying from the food shortages.

Tomorrow, the Howu-Howu team will leave for southern Nias with 50 tonnes of food in a chartered cargo vessel. People have no food or water there either. Howu-Howu will do everything in their power to deliver food to wherever it is needed. But we cannot do this without your support. Please make your donation to the Howu-Howu giro account, giro 7653180. Thank you all for your support.

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04 01 2005 10.15 hrs.

THE SITUATION IS ALSO VERY SERIOUS IN THE NORTH, WEST AND SOUTH OF NIAS

Nias is world news. The pictures shown on television were taken in the capital of Nias, Gunung Sitoli. At least a thousand bodies have been recovered there. The victims are mostly Chinese who lived in 2- or 3-storey houses. Searching for victims is difficult as no equipment has arrived yet. An increasing number of aid workers is arriving. A relief programme for the victims has yet to be set up. Only the injured are now being taken care of. Several medical teams have arrived in G. Sitoli. Helicopters are being used to take seriously injured people to hospitals on Sumatra. Slowly but surely, the aid measures in G. Sitoli will come together. The biggest problem is the issue of getting the aid to the rest of Nias, which has also been heavily affected.

Menyerah Bulölö of the Dutch team has left for Nias. Part of the Nias team are now in Sibolga where they have collected 3 tonnes of aid supplies that are to be taken to Nias. However, they have not yet been able to make the crossing. Hopefully they will succeed this evening (Indonesian time). The aid supplies are intended for G. Sitoli. Part of the supplies are to remain in Sibolga. The Howu-Howu team will regroup and the whole team will go from Sibolga to the south of Nias together with Bulölö to set up the relief programme there. The situation in the south is definitely as alarming as in the north. 230 bodies have been recovered in Telukdam and 75% of the town has been devastated. It is difficult to reach the other villages from Telukdam. Food shortages are imminent in a large part of Nias – in areas that are generally difficult to reach. Yesterday, there was another earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale and that will not be the end of it.

The Red Cross will provide the Indonesian Red Cross with a helicopter to drop aid supplies. The Red Cross has promised € 30,000 to Howu-Howu for emergency aid. There has not yet been any response to the requests that Howu-Howu has made to other aid organisations of the SHO (Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties) [Dutch Association of Relief Organisations] (Giro 555). A lot of money is needed and this is why Howu-Howu are restarting the fund-raising campaign. Howu-Howu have had a brilliant offer from two captains who have ships in Jakarta (one 800-tonne and one 900-tonne ship) and who are willing to transport aid supplies to Nias. Unfortunately, the relief organisations in Jakarta (the Red Cross, Cordaid, IDEP) are not interested. This is a real pity as the ships can be used to transport aid supplies and equipment (generators, diggers, etc.). At the moment, Howu-Howu do not have enough funds to accept this offer.


The departure of Bolülü from Schiphol airport.

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03 31 2005 07.16 hrs.

A CALL FOR AID

A member of our team, Asizaro Waruwu, who lost everything in the earthquake and has been living on the street since Monday, just like thousands of other people in G. Sitoli, has called us with some alarming news. The people in G. Sitoli are hungry and there is no food. No soup kitchens have been set up and there isn’t anywhere in the city for people to go where food is being distributed. Another serious problem is that the people have no shelter and are sleeping on the street in the rain. It is clear that the local authorities are simply not in a position to organise aid for the victims. They lack the expertise required to do so. International aid organisations must help the local authorities to get aid to those affected by setting up temporary camps and soup kitchens. 12,000 people in G. Sitoli are now homeless. The 22 people from the Indonesian Red Cross and the medical teams from the Red Cross and Surfaid International, who are on site to provide aid, cannot cope with the scale of the demand for it. More aid workers are needed.

Another problem is the search for the dead who are still lying under the rubble. There is no equipment, so those affected by the earthquake in G. Sitoli are searching through the rubble with their bare hands for dead family members. Equipment must be shipped to them so that the rubble can be cleared faster and heavy obstacles moved out of the way, otherwise there is a serious risk of the outbreak of disease.

Howu-howu has made an urgent appeal to various aid organisations, such as the UN, CORDAID and the RED CROSS, to take quick action. Part of our team is currently in Sibolga, where they are buying in aid. Given the funds that Howu-howu has at its disposal, the scale of this aid is limited. The need is great and we must act soon.


Images01
Images02
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03 29 2005 22.15 hrs.



The earthquake on Nias is a real tragedy and the deathblow to the island

The consequences of the earthquake on Nias are drastic. In G. Sitoli people are now talking of a death toll of over 700 and even the figure 1000 has already been mentioned. Many people are wounded and 10,000 people are homeless. The inhabitants of G. Sitoli, together with the police and the army, are currently trying to get the bodies out from under the rubble. Their work is made considerably more difficult by the fact that there is no machinery (excavators or tractors). After just one day, the smell of the bodies has already spread throughout the town. None of the telephone lines are working and there is no electricity. This also makes it difficult, when evening falls, to look for victims who are buried under the rubble. The streets in the town and the bridges are devastated. It is also difficult to leave the town because the arterial roads are largely destroyed. Another problem is that there is currently no medical help available on the island. The inhabitants are standing on the streets with their injured loved ones, waiting for nothing. They don’t know where else to go. The market and several shops have been destroyed - shops which several of the people rely on for their livelihood. The power failure makes supplying water more difficult. We anticipate that in a few days’ time it will be difficult to obtain adequate drinking water if no aid is received. 650,000 people live on Nias. The island is 125 km long and 45 km wide. Around 80,000 people live in G. Sitoli.

The situation in the south of Nias in Telukdalam is not much better. According to initial reports, there have been a lot fewer deaths (35) but 70% of the town is devastated. There too, there are problems with power failure. Telephone lines have been destroyed and streets and bridges are ruined. Again, the water supply may prove problematic if no aid is provided. And what’s more, there are wounded people but no medical assistance is available. At the present time we know little to nothing of the other parts of Nias. We have heard that the island of ASU is 90% destroyed and initial reports tell us that 5 people have died in Sirombu. However, these reports have not yet been confirmed and do not answer any of the dozens of questions we have about other districts of Nias and nearby islands.

The situation on the island of Nias has always been very bad. The earthquake would appear to have destroyed what little infrastructure they had, along with the limited medical facilities and schools and churches. In a word, a deathblow to NIAS.

AID AND HOWU-HOWU

Last night the Howu-Howu team in the Netherlands, having received information from the HOWU-HOWU team on Nias, started providing information to various international aid organisations. A number of organisations have responded to our appeals, including Surfaid International and the Red Cross. Thanks to the information from our team on Nias and information from the bupati (district heads) on the island, the team in the Netherlands was in a position to provide practical information about the places which are no longer accessible and the situation in G. Sitoli. In addition, our team on Nias intends to set out for the island of Sumatra to buy aid supplies because there is nothing more available in G. Sitoli. HOWU-HOWU has submitted a request for cooperation and a list with aid supplies to the Red Cross in Jakarta. We expect to receive an answer to it soon.



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03 29 2005 10.42 hrs.

The situation on Nias is serious. Hundreds of people are dead. The east side of the island seems to be completely devastated. There are hundreds of people wounded and thousands homeless. We are in constant contact with our team on Nias and with both bupati (district heads) in the north and south of Nias. The bupati from the north of Nias seems very upset. The town of G. Sitoli is completely devastated. Access roads have been destroyed and the town is in ruins. People are standing on the street waiting for medical aid at the spot where the hospital stood until yesterday. There is no aid at all but the people just stay there because they don’t know where else to go. The people are shaken and the situation is chaotic. There is nothing more to be had in G. Sitoli, the market is still on fire. The harbour is for the most part intact. The airfield in G. Sitoli is damaged and the road between the airfield and the town is unusable. The situation in the south on the east side of the island, in the town of Telukdam, is no better. 32 bodies have now been recovered there. The town is in ruins. It is not possible to leave the town because the access roads have been destroyed. Both bupatis, just like us, are very concerned about the west side. The earthquake also appears to have caused major damage to the west side of the island. As yet, no contact with the west side is possible. It is no longer possible to reach the west side from the east side over land. It is very important that we know as quickly as possible what is happening there in order to respond adequately.

Yesterday evening the Howu-Howu team sent out an SOS to various international organisations and a press release. Surfaid International has responded. This evening, aid supplies will be brought to Nias by boat. A medical team will be flying to Nias by helicopter. We have been given approval from the bupati for Surfaid International to land on the field in front of the bupati’s office.

In addition, one of the Howu-Howu team members will try to leave Nias tonight by boat to collect aid in Sibolga such as blankets, first aid supplies (betadine and suture kits), clothes and food. In G. Sitoli, after all, there is nothing to be had.

The team in the Netherlands has also established contact with the Red Cross and it looks as though the Red Cross will be providing money and will cooperate with Howu-Howu to provide the initial aid.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
03 29 2005 08.00 hrs.


Death toll on Nias rises, absolute chaos

Our team on the island of Nias, stationed in G. Sitoli (Nias’ capital), have reported more than 300 deaths in the town, hundreds wounded and 10,000 people homeless. There is no medical help available and the hospital has been devastated by the earthquake. The roads in the town have been destroyed and it is difficult to get from one side of the town to the other. Short circuits have caused fires in several parts of the town. 75% of the town has been devastated. The situation is chaotic and the people there are completely disorientated. They need help, and fast - medical help for the wounded and emergency aid in the form of food, tents and blankets. The town is at a complete standstill. The electricity supply has been cut off, as has the network of landline telephones. We are able to contact one of our team members by mobile. The shops are completely destroyed and there is nothing more to buy. The situation is serious. At the crack of dawn, he saw two helicopters - probably the helicopters sent by the UN to investigate the situation. They flew over the town, but did not land. So far not a single form of aid has been provided to the island.

Half an hour ago, we talked to the head of the district of South Nias. The town of Telukdalam (the principal town in the south of Nias) has been devastated and 32 bodies have already been recovered. This town is also at a standstill. The head of the district is making an appeal for help. The situation is very serious in this town, too. It looks as though yesterday’s earthquake completely devastated the eastern side of the island. After the tsunami, this side had miraculously remained intact and it was from here that Howu-Howu set up the aid networks. Now this side of Nias is in ruins.

It is important that the west side of the island, the side which was so heavily affected three months ago by the tsunami, is surveyed as soon as possible. The head of the district in the south of Nias, Bapak Ginting, told us that as yet, there has been no contact with the west side of the island. The roads are unpassable and it is impossible to reach the west side of the island over land. In order to find out what is happening, we will be appealing to international aid organisations to carry out reconnaissance flights over the island.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
03 29 2005 02.00 hrs.

A mail from Howu-Howu to the different aidorganisations did take effect imedeately. A reaction from Surf Aid International did phone us to ask what the situation on Nias is, so they can inform the United Nations. The UN will send two helicopters to Nias, with food and a medical team for first aid and to coordinate furthermore relief efforts. For the moment it is very important to know what the actual situation is on the other parts of the island. We're seriously concerned about the state of the Banyak islands. This group of islands is situated in the middle of the epicentre of the quake. Surfaid International will send a boat to this region tomorrow.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
03 29 2005 00.20 hrs.


A city of the death, the districtchief of northern Nias called Gunung Sitoli.

For the moment we only have reports from Gunung Sitoli, the capital of nothern Nias. The reports are frightful. 75% of the city is severe damaged, the houses are collapsed or caught fire by electricity short circuits, roads and bridges are damaged which makes the city impossible to get in. Hundreds of death are found and people are missing. A lot of injured victims and over 10.000 people are homeless.
Gunung Sitoli, the city which wasn't hit by the tsunami on the 26th of Decenber, is struck by this quake very badly. We tried desperatly to contact our teammember in Gunung Sitoli, Rindu. W're glad to report that he and his relatives are unharmed. He has told us about the severe damages in the city. The tremor, the chaos, the fires and that he was not succeeding to contact an other teammember. He knew he was searching for his kids who he had lost on the flee to higher grounds. The people are aware of the danger tsunami's so they flee to higher grounds in panic. No tsunami has come, but the earthquake did cause enormous devastation. Minutes ago we have had contact with our second teammember, Asizaro. His house has been collapsed but fortunately his family survived the quake, only his oldest daughter has injuries. All the things he and his wife have worked for in their lives, is vanished. They only have their clothes left which they were wearing at their flight to higher grounds. Asizaro is frightened and don't know where to go. He isn't able to go back home because he don't have one anymore. He isn't able to leave Gunung Sitoli because the roads and bridges are damaged and ha don't know what has happened in the other parts of Nias. We don't know what to say to him. He as well as we don't know what has happened to our families in the southern parts of Nias. We have to wait. Our thoughts are going out to our families and the nuns of the rehabilitation centre in Gunung Sitoli, where they take care for disabled children and who are supported by the Howu-Howu foundation. Our thoughts are going to our teammembers and their families and to all the victims of this earthquake.
We again call for help from the aid organisations to help Nias. For the moment it is very impotant that medical teams will be send in to Nias, because this quake did cause many injured people and medical care is urgent for them! The medical teams already on Nias isn't enough to relief the effort.

Our action DO HELP NIAS NOW does make sense now, more than ever. Do help us to help the victims of the tsunami and the earthquake and do make a donation today.


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03 28 2005 22.00 hrs.

Again an earthquake.

Again we are confronted with the alarming message that an earthquake with a force of 8.7 of the Richter scale, west of Sumatra has hit nearby the Island Nias.

First death casualties reported on Nias

After two hours intensly trying to contact our team on Nias, we spoke to one of our teammembers. The earthquake has already caused more than 50 death casualties in Gunung Sitoli. The force of the quake was this strong that many houses and building collapsed immedeatly. People were running on the streets in panic and tried to flee to higher grounds. The situation is very chaotic. Poeple are already trying to rescue casualties from unther collapsed buildings. Poeple are lost, there is no electricity, it's dark and it's very difficult to oversea the situation. The situation is severe at the moment only in Gunung Sitoli. For us at this moment we only know about Gunung Sitoli because we haven't been able to contact other parts of Nias.
We hope we can report more by daybreak within a few hours from now, to see by daylight what damage the quake has caused.

One hour later...

One hour later... our team in Gunung Sitoli reports more than hundred deathly victims in this town. Besides the collapsing buildings with casualties unther the debris, fires has been started by electricity short-circuit of falling electricity masts. Bridges are collapsed too, so it's very difficult to get trough the town to oversea the situation. The picture is now severe.




DO HELP NIAS NOW!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donations are more than needed!

HELP THE INHABITANTS OF NIAS AND MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION BY BANK TRANSFER TO

Bank ABN-AMRO
Bankaccount: 40.85.13.497

Stationsweg
DORDRECHT The Netherlands

BIC: ABNANL 2A
IBAN: NL40ABNA0408513497

accountname: Foundation Howu-Howu
stating "TSUNAMI"


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Howu-Howu Foundation has launched a campaign to raise money
for the victims of the undersea earthquake on Nias (Indonesia).
The total amount is € 84.837.70 on donations on the 21th of March 2005

8:08 AM  
Anonymous BBC said...

Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK

Sumatra shaken by new earthquake

A strong earthquake has struck near the Indonesian island of Sumatra, say seismologists.

The epicentre of the quake, which had an estimated magnitude of 6.7, was about 120km (75 miles) south-west of the city of Padang, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of damage, but some people fled the coast.

The latest tremor revived fears of a repeat of the 26 December tsunami disaster, which killed an estimated 300,000 people in a dozen countries.

Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in Indonesia.

However, no tsunami warning was issued on Sunday.

Tremor warnings

The latest tremor struck at struck at 1729 local time (1029 GMT) and was felt as far away as Singapore.

Many people were reported to have fled their homes in Padang, after a radio broadcast by city mayor Fauzi Bahar.

"Many people in Padang are panicking," said Yusuf, an official from Indonesia's Geophysics and Meteorology Agency (IGMA).

See where the three quakes hit

"People have left their houses, specially those living on the coast," he said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu, in the US state of Hawaii, said: "Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a few hundred kilometres of the earthquake epicentre."

It urged local authorities to "be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action".

Scientists have warned that the Indian Ocean faultline could deliver another major earthquake, and tremors have been felt repeatedly in the area since the 9.3-magnitude jolt that unleashed the 26 December tsunami.

Two weeks ago, an aftershock from that earthquake killed more than 600 people on the Indonesian island of Nias.

On that occasion, rapid response plans put in place after December's disaster were activated promptly.

An integrated tsunami warning system for the region will not be ready until the end of next year, but most countries have a contingency plan.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Yannick said...

Ladies and gentlemen,

Please find enclosed our latest Field Reports (damages reported in Mentawai
after the tremors of 10 april) and a new file for security procedures.
Update of the 'Assistance' page of www.CathaySeas.com will be made later.

***********************************************************************
Situation in Telukdalem city and T.dalem area, Nias, is reported DANGEROUS

INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS ARE ASKED TO LEAVE and to engage in distant aid actions.
************************************************************************

-Refugees tend to become angry and violent when help distribution is in sight.

-Road convoys are threatened to be stopped and looted if they don't halt in villages.

-When people hear about a distribution they did not attend, they get to the aid warehouse / aid volunteers and

*order* another distribution.

'Howu-Howu' has sent a worrisome report about the overall atmosphere.
This is especially disturbing because HH has an extensive knowledge of the area, they speak the local language and they've had extensive contacts with the local
people and authorities for several years.

120 tents from the Red Cross were stolen in Telukdalem (08 april) during a
looting, 02 trucks had to be protected by armed police and an aircraft had to
stay out of sight to avoid further violences.

On 09 april, a distribution of supplies in T.dalem city went wild as "an emotionnaly traumatized crowd of hundreds of people created a hostile and undisciplined atmosphere with everyone wanting a tent, now.(...) On two or three occasions, the situation was very close to complete chaos and looting."

Red Cross volunteers had to keep the trucks while distributing supplies, under watch of armed police.
"This was four hours of constant shouting, raging, pushing and pulling under heat and burning sun."

As some of them broke in tears, Red Cross volunteers expressed their will to get back to Gunungsitoli right away.

In a separate incident (10 april) 'Howu-Howu' team had to lock-up in a
warehouse, while besieged by an angry crowd of hundreds of people.

At some point, they seriously considered to leave the supplies and get out of the shelter.

In these conditions, it is only a question of time before NGO's order a complete pull back off this area, making the situation worse for those who decide to stay.

Make sure you read the attached document for security procedures, even if you already have some.
Let us know which ones you apply and what you think of ours.

Sincerely yours,
Yannick.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Yannick said...

-----Original Message-----
From: Cathay Seas
Sent: Monday, April 11.

********* SECURITY : *********

Situation in Telukdalem city and T.dalem area, Nias, is reported DANGEROUS.

INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS ARE ASKED TO LEAVE and to engage in distant aid actions.



-Talk openly with your people about the subject, each of you need to have a clear idea of what's lying ahead, both for psychological preparadeness and to evaluate un-willing individuals.

If no one want to go, don't force but make a report to authorities.

-After any 'hard' situation, make a group debriefing and let anyone speak. Ask silent people to speak.

-Make real-life simulations for handling shoutings, insults and physical contact. Work in group. At some point, if you need self-defense or fighting training, reconsider if your engagement is really worth it.

-Require (not ask) police escort, return-trip from your departure point. If police is needed for help, their first move should be to get between crowd and staff.

Plan the distributions well ahead of schedule :

-check maps or ask for local knowledge to spot the main arrival road, distribution site, surroundings and departure road.

-DO NOT make a distribution where there is a possibility of encirclement. Align back to public buildings. If you are in an open space, make a semi-circle.

-ALWAYS settle so that you see the crowd in front of you.

-for the whole convoy as well as for team members by foot, write down an escape route, meeting point outside the area (01 kilometer), make sure everybody knows by heart your
headuqarter's phone n°.

Keep someone in your HQ, watching for the phone.

-Dispatch volunteers so that women do not outnumber men.
Dispatch physically strong / impressing individuals in all field teams, not as a single team.
Mix experienced staff with fresh recruits.

-Dress with visible, bright shirts (red, yellow, blue) during distributions.

Have everyone carrying enough cash money secured in his pockets (or underwear) to make some phone calls.

-Work in pairs.

-The team chief counts his team mates and knows instantly who is where (thanks to the bright shirts). 'One for all and all for one' mindset.

-Park your vehicles backwards, drivers keep the key with them. Enter a distribution site with enough diesel in the tanks to leave.

-If not all vehicles can park backwards : do not store supplies in the last vehicle of the convoy, make it enter the stage half hour after others and park it backwards -closer to the exit way.

-Work on a basis of 10 minutes for evaluation : if something 'human' lasts for 10 minutes, it will not end by itself.

-Look for the 'leaders' of a crowd and isolate them by talking to them directly.

-Have two signals for 'leave and go' one with and one without trucks. Send it louder than human voice (04 whistle blows, 02 trucks horn together three times, etc.).

-'Leave and go' signal is the signal to leave to the pre-established meeting point. Immediately.

-The more you will seem organized, the more people will hesitate to interfere.

-Settle close to official buildings and shelter in if needed. Videotape for later analysis.

-In open space, field teams should gather tightly in pack when facing an angry crowd. When the chief yells to force, everyone pushes the same way and forces outside.

---END---

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Howu-Howu said...

Hi all,

Please because of these incidents don't take out your team/help out of
this area completely! This will aggravate the situation.

If you start on the west side to distribute (Lagundri) and avoid Telukdalam altogether,major problems between villages between the east and the west side can occur. This did happen in the recent past. Nias people from Telukdalam are not easy going and tend to have a bad temper in situations of crisis. BUT PEOPLE ARE IN NEED AND DO NEED HELP! If you distribute supplies you need to have plenty with you. You are confronted with a situation where thousands and thousands of people ask for help. Be
prepared and take enough with you.

Try to include locals with the
distribution. Howu-Howu had enough food and little problems with the
distribution a few days ago, the problems started with the distribution of 400 tents and a crowd of thousands of people.

Please take care of your teams, and thank you for your help and support.

Best regards,

Petra van Loon
Foundation Howu-Howu
00-31-(0)78-6317434
info@howu-howu.org
www.howu-howu.org

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Cathay Seas said...

-----Original Message-----
From: Cathay Seas
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 02:00pm GMT

Latest tremors recorded :
11 april, 06:11GMT magnitude 6.1 SIMEULUE, INDONESIA depth= 30km 2.17N 96.73E
10 april, 17:24 magnitude 6.0 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.60S 99.69E
10 april, 11:55 magnitude 5.9 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.73S 99.66E
10 april, 11:45 magnitude 5.5 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.64S 99.52E
10 april, 11:14 magnitude 6.3 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.70S 99.72E
10 april, 10:45 magnitude 5.8 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.57S 99.57E
10 april, 10:29 magnitude 6.8 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 1.62S 99.56E

NEEDS :
Food (adults + children [sweets !] + babies), freshwater.
Blankets, clothes + shoes (adults + children), towels, cooking pots, sleeping mats.
Road building-heavy machinery + construction materials.
First aid materials to clean wounds, bandages.
Mobile power generators (electricity) to stay out there on the long term.
Mobile phones/ sat phones, VHF... anything to speak to someone from far away.


****** SECURITY : ******
Telukdalem city and South Nias area are POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS because of angry crowds.
INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS ARE ASKED TO LEAVE and engage in distant aid actions.
****************************



MARUTA JAYA sailboat en route from Jakarta, ETA 15 april in Telukdalem, Nias. In contact with 'Howu-Howu' for distribution.
Delivering 900 tons supplies for 'Care' 50/50 between Nias and Simeulue.

'Howu-Howu' has brought assistance to refugees in Sibolga.
Team will travel from Nias to Sibolga ~Wednesday to re-fill with supplies and go to Nias again.

Cathay Seas has made a proposition of public signs about 'Tsunami informasi' which has received a good feedback from geologists and helpers on the field. In contact with UN and UNESCO to spread the idea.
Meanwhile ==> USE IT ! It's downloadable from the 'Assistance' page of www.CathaySeas.com
We'll make some more about 'Evacuation route to Safety point' and 'Safety point'. First step into the Indian Ocean tsunami warning system.

****** NIAS : ******
FOOD needed !

'Sumatran Surfariis' ships SOUTHERN CROSS is in South West Nias (Lagundri), up to the North. ASIA is in Gunungsitoli picking-up staff from 'IDEP Foundation' + 'Surf Aid'.

|'Howu-Howu' report of 10 april :
|
|ROAD BETWEEN GUNUNGSITOLI AND TELUKDALEM OPEN. ROAD BETWEEN TELUKDALEM AND LAGUNDRI + nearby villages OPEN.
|
|"villages on the westside in the South (Lagundri, Sorake) have almost been abandoned. People running for fear and no food."
|'HH' working with 'Red Cross' in South Nias area. All supplies were delivered in 25 villages in and around T.dalem. Team will go to Sibolga ~Wednesday to re-fill.
|Following the repeated quakes of 09-10 april, report of several injured people in villages in the area. "Difficult to transport them."
|Supplies distribution very chaotic. "Potentially dangerous". Several incidents of looting and aid teams physically threatened. Fight-for-food atmosphere.

'Surf Aid International' :
- Hiliatalua and Hiliusa villages (central Nias, Lolamatua district) :
80% buildings un-inhabitable. 90% population in refugees camps.
- Hilidaula, Siso bandrao, Lasarafaga, Orahili, Siduahili, Lasarahili and Hilifadolo villages (North West Nias, Mandrehe district) :
Number of diarrheas increasing particularly among children.
Tuwuna, Lologolou, Bolodano, Lolozirugi vollages : 100% population displaced (!).
- All schools in Sibolga are closed, no alternate shelters to open classes.


****** SIMEULUE : ******
FOOD needed !

A ground team of 'Surf Aid International' is riding across the South... no detail.

****** MENTAWAI, SIBERUT : ******

After the tremors of 09-10 april, the area has been badly damaged but no human casualties.
UNESCO reports that large numbers of people have gone in the hills including UNESCO local staff.
Many buildings are down. UNESCO office in the National Park Biosphere Reserve is damaged.
Lack of logistical facilities, electricity or phone access is even worse than in normal conditions.



-----Original Message-----
From: Cathay Seas
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 02:00pm GMT

Latest tremors recorded :
08 april, 05:48am GMT magnitude 5.9 KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA depth= 25km 0.22°S 97.72°E
08 april, 01:51am GMT magnitude 5.5 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 0.74°N 97.39°E
07 april, 11:46am GMT magnitude 5.9 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA depth= 30km 0.63°N 97.39°E
06 april, 11:20am GMT magnitude 5.6 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA depth= 77km 3.95°S 102.36°E
(26 december 2004 quake : magnitude 9.3, depth= 30km 3.307°North 95.947°East)


Cathay Seas has created a tsunami warning sign with pictogram + Bahasa instructions provided by geologist Lori Dengler.
We want it to become a public sign everywhere in Indonesia...


****** NIAS : ******

* TELUKDALEM area :

Correction : 'Howu-Howu' is waiting for a ship of 'Sumatran Surfariis' but it is not ASIA, it is SOUTHERN CROSS, captain Chris where are you ?.
For info about ASIA, see below -Gunungsitoli.

Report of Howu-Howu, 07 april.
|"Team HH has arrived and distributing food through four POSKO. Two in Telukdalam and 1 in the vicinity of village Bawomataluo and 1 in the vicinity of village Sorake (Westside).
|Because of chaotic situation yesterday in Telukdalam in front of Posko during distribution of food, team HH introduced a system for fair distribution.
|Reports from Surfaid team to team HH local authorities in several areas where they left food started to claim the food and to sell it (!!) to the people. Team HH not yet this problem."
|
|- District Telukdalam: refugees 2314, injured 72, badly injured 581(!!), 50 people died.
|Buildings: 68 schools badly damaged, 59 churches damaged, 3 mosques damaged, 1687 houses damaged, 2513 badly damaged, 2303 completely destroyed, 3 bridges badly damaged.
|- District Amandaya: refugees 15.450, injured 151, badly injured 29 (!!), 5 people died
|Buildings: 18 schools badly damaged, 54 churches damaged, 1456 houses damaged, 1076 houses badly damaged, 508 houses completely destroyed and 42 bridges damaged. (Problems with access to area)
|- District Lölöwau: refuges 14.302, injured 366, badly injured 252 (!!), 10 people died.
|Buildings: 47 schools damaged, 77 churches damaged, 2545 houses damaged, 2372 houses badly damaged, 454 houses completely destroyed, 4 bridges damaged, 45 ha ground landslides.
|- District Lölömatua:
|refugees 2400, 474 injured, 273 badly injured (!!), 5 people died.
|Buildings: 20 schools damaged, 81 churches damaged, 679 houses damaged, 1623 houses badly damaged, 1325 houses completely destroyed.
|*** All areas food shortage and urgently need medical assistance. ***

Helicopter lift of 03 people critically injured in Hiliotalua village. ('United Nations' heli + 'Surf Aid International' and 'AusAid').

Sailing ship MARUTA JAYA to arrive in T.dalem 15 april. Captain Ray sat phone : 2072360675. See also the Cathay Seas' Directory.
Will ferry 900 tons of supplies including :
5.000 family kits,
350 tarps,
3.350 jerrycans,
77.500 SWS water purification kits,
4.700 kitchen stoves,
... complete list soon.
This ship keels at 05 meters ==> is T.dalem harbour deep enough to safely access the wharf ? Need assistance to unload cargo.
This ship will also reach Simeulue island. BATAVIA, can you provide assistance to unload cargo ?

* GUNUNGSITOLI :

ASIA ship of 'Sumatran Surfariis' leaving Padang 08 april to relieve SJARALI ship as 'Surf Aid' command post.

* SIROMBU :

Logistics base of 'Surf Aid International' operational.
Rice, noodles, water, high-energy biscuits and insecticide-treated mosquito nets + medical supplies distributed in the Sirombu district during the next weeks.
TENDER is necessary to unload cargo from ship to shore. Wharf of Sirombu harbour is damaged and boats can not land due to the rise of reefs 02 meters or more. [Ouch.]

* LAHEWA district :

Helicopter drop of a 'Surf Aid' team in Lasarasaga village, walk to neighbouring villages for 02 days (10 april).

* North West coast :

'Surf Aid International' ship EQUATOR MERMAID delivering supplies to seaside villages (Sirombu - Afulu - up North)
The use of a fast outboard allows to go up rivers and reach (relatively) inland places.

* HINAKO, ASU & BAWA islands :

'Surf Aid' KATIKA ship report : only 37 families remaining on Asu island, all others fled to Hinako.
Distribution of tarpaulins to each family, 250kg of rice and water.
NO MORE FRESHWATER ON Asu + Bawa islands, all sources have dried due to the up-lift of ground. [Ouch]

****** SIMEULUE : ******

Sailing ship MARUTA JAYA to arrive in T.dalem (Nias) 15 april, then to Simeulue. Captain Ray sat phone : 2072360675. See also the Cathay Seas' Directory.
Cargo capacity of 900 tons. BATAVIA, can you provide assistance to unload cargo ?

NUALI ship of 'Surf Aid' heading to North East.

* Sinabang :
Local Red Cross has received supplies from 'World Health Organization' distribution by 'Surf Aid'.

'World Food Programme' 300 tons ship arrived in Sinabang 07 april.
Rice to Teluk Dalam -Simeulue island, not Nias- (27.2 tons), Simeulue Barat (54 tons), Alafan and Salang (23 tons), Simeulue Tengah and Teupah Barat (40 tons).

20 tons water tank arrived in Sinabang, management by 'UNICEF'.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous howu-howu said...

10 04 2005 10.00 hrs.

TAKEN UNAWARES BY ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE.
EPICENTRE CLOSE TO SIBERUT

IN THE EARLY EVENING HOWU-HOWU RECEIVED REPORTS OF ANOTHER SEVERE EARTHQUAKE, THE EPICENTRE OF WHICH WAS CLOSE TO SIBERUT. ONE CAN SCARCELY COMPREHEND THAT LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER THE NIAS EARTHQUAKE THE SAME HAS HAPPENED ON SIBERUT. REPORTS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED BY SOURCES IN PADANG WHERE HOWU-HOWU WAS ABLE TO REACH PEOPLE BY TELEPHONE. THE SHOCK (SOME SOURCES SPOKE OF 6.9 AND OTHERS OF 8.00 ON THE RICHTER SCALE) WAS FELT STRONGLY IN PADANG. A LOT OF BUILDINGS THERE HAVE BEEN DESTROYED OR DAMAGED. HOWU-HOWU HAS TRIED TO ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH SIBERUT BUT SO FAR THIS HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE. AT THIS MOMENT WE ONLY KNOW THAT ANOTHER SEVERE EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED. HOWU-HOWU HAS INFORMED ITS PARTNER ORGANISATIONS AND IS WAITING FOR NEWS ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE ON THE ISLAND OF SIBERUT.


-----------------------------
10 04 22.00 hrs.

Howu-Howu has distributed 40 tonnes of aid supplies

The Howu-Howu team recently distributed 40 tonnes of aid supplies via its four aid stations in the south of Nias. The supplies included rice, Indomie (noodles), sugar, tinned fish and water. Torches and first aid supplies have also been distributed. The circumstances were not always easy, with thousands and thousands of people appearing at each aid station. The HH team also wanted to ensure that those who didn’t make it to the aid station because they were weak, sick or old also got their share. This meant that as well as opening the aid stations, the HH team also tried to take supplies to the villages. It was an intense few days for the team. The stocks they took with them have now run out. Today, the team helped the Red Cross distribute tents and tomorrow they are going to G. Sitoli to obtain more food supplies and to deliver aid to the districts that lie slightly further north but still in southern Nias.

Most people are sleeping outside, afraid of additional earthquakes which are continuing to occur. Villages where some of the houses are devastated and some aren’t have been turned into camps where virtually no one dares to go inside.

To everyone’s astonishment, the local authorities have decided that the schools should start again tomorrow - despite the fact that almost 150 schools have been devastated, lots of children and their parents no longer have a roof over their heads, they have no school gear left and the food situation still isn’t under control. Another problem is that the people who used schools as a place to store their

-----------------------------
07 04 2005 09.30 hrs.

HOWU-HOWU DISTRIBUTES FOOD TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

The HH team is back in southern Nias with 40 tonnes of food and other aid supplies. On arriving, the team started distributing the food as soon as they had unloaded. The situation in Telukdalam became chaotic. People were desperately hungry and the team had difficulty distributing the food in an orderly fashion. The team distributed food to thousands of people. Today, the team adopted a voucher system to ensure fair distribution of food and drink. This did have an effect, as things were calmer at the aid stations. The food distribution at the aid stations in the two other villages is going quite smoothly. There have been no incidents there. HH has set up a total of four aid stations.

The first figures from four southern districts show that the earthquake has caused widespread devastation. Seventy people died as a result of the quake, 34,466 lost their houses, 1135 were badly injured and no medical aid has arrived yet. 1063 people sustained minor injuries, 153 primary schools were destroyed, 271 churches were destroyed, a total of 4590 houses was destroyed, 7584 houses were badly damaged, roads and bridges were destroyed. There are food shortages throughout the region.

The people on Nias need your help now more than ever. Support HH and transfer your donation to giro 7653180. Our highest priority is to prevent people starving to death.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
05 04 2005 22.00 hrs.

TEAM HOWU-HOWU EN ROUTE TO DELIVER 40 TONNES OF FOOD

The HOWU-HOWU team is en route to southern Nias to deliver 40 tonnes of food, 3 generators and first-aid bandages. They will be arriving in Telukdalam within the next few hours. The idea is to set up 4 HOWU-HOWU aid stations in three areas, two in Telukdalam, one the village of Bawomataluo and one in the vicinity of a village on the western side. These will all be in southern Nias. The costs of these goods have been covered by a € 30,000,- donation made by the Dutch Red Cross. The Luxembourg organisation Alindo-Tsunami Help for Indonesia and the French translation company Polyglotte have also donated € 2.000 ,- and € 3.000,- to HOWU-HOWU respectively. Today, the team has been in touch with the bupati of southern Nias by mobile telephone. The whole region suffers from food shortages and there are no other organisations who are providing food aid either. This is a famine situation. The aid that HOWU-HOWU is about to deliver is of vital importance.

The team has also spoken to the mayor of Sibolga about looking after the homeless from Nias. People who have money travel on to other towns where they have relatives. People who have no money remain stranded in Sibolga and live there on the streets without a roof above their heads and without any food. The mayor wants to do whatever has to be done for the homeless and is trying to provide accommodation for these people in a school building. Together with Howu-Howu, a soup kitchen is being set up for the people who have fled Nias. HOWU-HOWU has supplied water, rice and vegetables. As soon as the food situation on Nias has stabilised, it will have to be determined whether these people can be returned to Nias with HOWU-HOWU’s help.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Rick at elm said...

Fishermen Helping Fishermen

Electric Lamb Mission Receives Much Needed Boost from Local Co-operative
Jane's fishing camp on Post Office Is, Abrolhos Island Group just
over 40nm off the coast of West Australia. Jane lives on this tiny
coral patch for 3-4 months every year.

GFC fisherman and shareholder Jane Liddon, together with her partner Rick Cameron, are coordinating tsunami relief efforts in Western Aceh. Jane and Rick were running their surf charter business in Sumatra when the tsunami struck. Known as the Electric Lamb Mission (named after their charter boat), Jane and Rick are now operating a 200 foot ship called the Batavia, gaining access to isolated parts of the coast line which are inaccessible by road and fixed wing aircraft. The ELM now has a team of medical and general volunteers providing much needed assistance to small fishing communities that few other groups are reaching.

Fishermen and staff of the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative have donated over $12,000 to assist Jane, Rick and the Electric Lamb Mission continue their work.

The Geraldton-Greenough branch of Rotary has formally adopted the ELM project, which has received Rotary Australia endorsement. Importantly, 100% of donations will be directed to the ELM: there are no hefty administration fees.

Donations and volunteer relief workers are still needed to ensure the continuation of this unique, grass roots mission.

Quotes:

John Fitzhardinge (GFC Director): “Australian’s have been exceedingly generous so far towards the survivors of the tsunami. However, many have valid concerns about whether the money is really getting through to where it is needed. Jane and Rick have provided a rare opportunity to ensure that donations will get through to isolated fishing communities. They know the people and speak the language, and are providing precisely the kind of assistance that is required.�

Jane Liddon (ELM founding member, Geraldton fisherman): “We are reaching people in remote fishing communities where few other relief agencies go. The need for assistance will not diminish for many months. It is important that we continue our work in Aceh, and for that we need ongoing support.

We are very grateful to the fishermen and staff of the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative for their generous donations.�

Media Contacts
Wayne Hosking
General Manager

Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative
9965 9035
wayneh@brolos.com.au

Jane Liddon
Director
Dog Rock Pearls Ltd
0428 381 275
jane.liddon@mac.com
www.dogrockpearls.com
NB: Call Jane after 6pm or leave a message

2:16 PM  
Anonymous rick said...

BATAVIA RAPID RESPONSE PLAN - April 2005
by Electric Lamb Mission on Tuesday,

April 26 @ 10:50 PM

Seismologists are in general agreement that there will be further major events as the fault adjusts in a southerly direction, the question is "when" and not "if".

We propose to work with a basket of NGOs and Agencies, so that the cost of funding Batavia can be spread among many over the months ahead. NGOs and Agencies will benefit by having access to a regular resupply/staff rotation service. Land based poskos in remote locations will become more feasible and less dependent on air support.

BATAVIA RAPID RESPONSE PLAN - April 2005
AIM: To keep BATAVIA in readiness for anticipated major seismic events while continuing to service areas already supported.

SCHEDULE: Regular trips from Padang/Sibolga to BA and back with loading each port every 10-14 days.

PROGRAM: Batavia will stop for distribution/medical support in all the areas we have identified as being too remote for mainstream aid to reach. We want to maintain contact with the communities we have supported in the past and help new areas as we identify them. As far as possible we want to work with smaller boats & to resupply them to extend outreach more efficiently.

SUPPORT: In addition to health clinics, our multitalented volunteers will work with local communities to implement:

- Water supply and sanitation needs.

- Vector control for Malaria and Dengue as well as residual spraying of tents & buildings.

- Fisheries rehabilitation and boat repair or new building.

- Bagan (fish platform) rehabilitation and new building.

- Education - supplementary activities, support and sports

- Shelter initiatives during the lead time needed for permanent housing to be completed.

- livelihood initiatives to restart agriculture and mariculture

- technical and trades support for reconstruction efforts

BUDGET: Assuming current costs:

A pool of 5 donors could contribute $20,000 per month each

A pool of 10 donors could contribute $10,000 per month each

A pool of 20 donors could contribute $ 5,000 per month each

Or a mix of the above. Considering that a single mission by a heavy lift chopper can cost US$10,000 we can possibly save some organizations a substantial amount.


Each donor to support supply of appropriate aid materials for loading according to the schedule. Direct donations to ELM will be sought to contribute towards capital items or specific mini-projects.

Universities will be approached on the basis of donations to secure space for participating student volunteers seeking field experience in aid work.

We are in negotiation with funders to secure the purchase and upgrade of the Batavia and if successful a substantial saving will be realized.

Contact us and lets work out the best way to support your NGO's ability to support remote communities.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous UNJLC said...

Following the Vice Presidential directive to clear the backlog at Belawan Port MEDAN, a clearing program to move humanitarian containers has commenced. After some initial teething problems, IOM, POSKO, customs and the port authorities have begun to make headway.

* TNI reports that over 15 sea containers have been cleared.

* Due to slower than anticipated clearance rates, the UNHAS Fokker 27 in MEDAN does not flying time-sensitive cargo.

* The effectiveness of the clearing operation has improved dramatically over the past few days.

* UNJLC MEDAN reminds the humanitarian community that procedures for clearing of restricted items such as - vehicles, rice and clothing - have not changed.

* The SOPs as described on the JLC website remain in effect.

* The bottlenecks at SIBOLGA port and GUNUNG SITOLI are now largely resolved. Two UNJLC staff was deployed to NIAS and SIBOLGA Island on 21 April 2005.


* One assists OCHA Nias with booking requests (pax/cargo) and prioritization,

* The second has reviewed operations in SIBOLGA, in an effort to prevent bottlenecks.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Waterways Surf Adventures said...

***The following report was taken directly from the Waterways Surf Adventures Email Update***

We appreciate all the calls from concerned citizens, future and past passengers regarding the catastrophic tragedy cause by the 8.9 earthquake located approximately 100 miles off the NW coast of sumatra.

I am sure most people are current on the increasing tolls of dead and missing people in the areas affected. For current general information see www.cnn.com

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all those who have suffered loss. It is a tribute to the surf population the number of calls we have received from people who would like to know how they can help. There is honest concern coming from so many people who have visited Indonesia and the Maldives specifically. It is difficult to locate aid organizations that target these areas in their relief efforts, but following are a couple good options.

www.surfaidinternational.org
Surf Aid deals mostly in controlling malaria in the Maldives, but will have specific relief programs for the Mentawai people displaced by the quake.

www.worldvision.org
This organization is US based providing relief efforts world wide

www.planusa.org
This organization looks specifically to aid children affected in the areas and will be focusing specifically on Sri Lanka, India, and sumatra

www.redcross.org
World relief programs


As a general summation at this time, it appears the majority of the Indonesia yacht charter fleet has escaped serious damage. Many of the boats go to Thailand during the off season for refit and maintenance. We have received word from most of the boats we know that made the move to Thailand that everybody and their boats are ok. The area near Phuket where the boats slip for maintenance during the off season was not hit as hard as some of the other main tourist areas.

One report received advised that although Padang in sumatra was rocked heavily by the quake, it suffered surprisingly minimal damage from the quake or flooding. There is obviously much cleanup needed, and many people still looking for family members, but it is anticipated that the 2005 charter season will proceed as scheduled.

It seems that the North sumatra areas of Simeulue, Nias and Ache where hit the hardest. This region has suffered major casualties from both the initial quake and following tidal waves. One direct report from Asu (Hinako Islands) advised that the island suffered minimal damage and was not hit by the tidal waves directly; flooding came from a series of large ocean surges.

At this point we have serious concern regarding the impact experienced by the Maldives. As the islands are so low lying the series of waves/surges have caused extensive flooding. Many of the islands on the east and south east side of the archipelago were hit hardest and are still without communications.

Following are some erupts from various reports obtained over the internet and via email:

EMIAL RECEIVED FROM YACHT BOHEMIEN
We appreciate your concern and thank God we all came through okay. Jono and his girl friend had a close call (they were in his truck and got slammed by the first surge, barely got out and were able to climb a tree). Steve's brother is visiting and was in the 2nd story of a hotel in Patong. The water came up to their floor and they came through fine; the German couple in the room directly beneath them were killed. Other friends of mine on the west side have similar stories. The areas near the west coast beaches (hotels and high priced homes) are devastated. Steve and I live in Chalong with the other yachties and were never in any danger.

The first tsunami in the morning caught everyone by surprise. Nobody here had ever seen one. Not like in the Pacific where if the tide goes out beyond normal low-tide line everyone knows it is time to run for high ground. There were more tsunamis predicted for the afternoon so Steve and I took Bohemian out to deeper water just in case. There was another small surge, but nothing like the morning.

I was worried about all our people in Sibolga but I called last night and from the sounds of things Sibolga came through unscathed. I hear parts of Nias caught it bad and I imagine same for Simeulue. I pray that people on low lying islands like the Hinakos were not hit too hard. My heart goes out to the people in Indo who nobody knows about, who live in areas so remote they will never be part of the "breaking news" although they are right in the middle of it. Innocent victims whose tragedy is not included in the news service "body counts" and who cannot expect to ever see any government assistance or foreign aid to help recover.


EMAIL FROM sumatraN SURF ADVENTURES
We have been inundated with phone calls and emails the last 24 hours after news of the tragedy created by the earthquake off North sumatra. Firstly thank-you to those who have been in touch with us to check on the wellbeing of ourselves, our staff and their families in Nias. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much.

News out of Nias has been slow and little, but we had the best news around 10am this morning (after a night of worry for the safety of the people on Asu).

We had prepared ourselves for the worst news and feared for the lives that may have been lost. However, the latest news that we have is that after the tremor water levels on the island started to rise and Fona and other workers got Max's boat into the water with a motor and radio, and evacuated who they could. They waited offshore until things subsided and were able to radio Guning Sitoli in Nias to confirm that everyone was safe.

Fortunately because of the positioning of Asu, they were not hit with the wave like effect of other areas, instead a gradual rise in the water level.

As far as we know there has been minimal impact on homes and buildings in this area, but this is secondary to knowing that our friends are safe.


MALDIVES
Dec 26, 2004
Ms. Dusooma Moosa
Manager, Sales & Marketing.
Aqua Sun Holidays.

In the capital, the north eastern Male' harbour area nearly drained out before the waves arrived, and passenger dhoanis avoided damage by riding out the waves in the lagoon as the tsunamis hit. The Male' seawall has been damaged on the northeastern and northern sides.


The resorts that were hit bad as per our sources. Medhufushi, Vilureef, Olhuveli, Dhonveli, Paradise, Kandooma, Fun Island, almost all these hotel have to be closed for renovation for up to 2-3 months. Guests are being evacuated from many resorts and local islands and lots of injured are being attended at the hospital.

Also the tourists who were being effected are leaving the Maldives, Airport will be closed again to night after 8.00pm (rumors) This is one tragedy Maldives has Never seen, No one has seen in their Entire lives the sea dry all the way to where the deep rocks were And then erupt with force and power with the rise sweeping the Water in the land in few seconds...

Male' the capital which had been flooded from four angles has had almost all the sea water was pumped and gushed out and the roads were made dry by yesterday evening.


Tsunami-Hit Maldives Evacuates Islands, 52 Dead
Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:36 PM ET
By Chamintha Thilakarathna

COLOMBO (Reuters) - The Maldives said on Monday 52 people, including two British tourists, had drowned in tsunami waves that struck the Indian Ocean archipelago on Sunday, and has evacuated six of its 200 inhabited islands completely. Close to 70 people are still missing in the beach paradise as search operations continued into the night, and officials said they feared the death toll could rise dramatically.

The Maldives, whose white sand beaches and world class scuba diving are a magnet for honeymooners and well-heeled tourists from around the globe, declared a state of emergency on Sunday after tsunami waves deluged the remote island cluster and flooded two-thirds of the capital Male. "Over fifty people are dead, about 70 people are still missing and thousands have been left homeless," President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom told the BBC's World Service. "Communications with most of the country have now been restored, but still some islands are without telecommunications," he added. "We have a lot of difficulties at the moment because our resources are quite limited, so sending help to islands have been a problem." Gayoom has spent much of his 26 years in power warning of the dangers that global warming, erosion and shifting weather patterns pose to low-lying island nations like his own. The chain of 1,200 tiny palm-fringed coral islands dotted across 500 miles off the toe of India lies just a few feet above sea level.

The country's international airport was closed down on Sunday as tsunami waves wreaked havoc but was reopened after water levels receded.

Male, which is 1.25 miles long and half a mile wide and home to 75,000 people, is bursting at the seams.

The island capital's streets of white-washed houses are very cramped and areas of communal open space sparse for residents -- so much so that the government is building a brand new island from scratch as an overflow.

Most of the Maldives' 300,000 mostly Sunni Muslim people are involved in the tourist industry, the nation's economic backbone.

The Maldives' 200 inhabited islands are home on average to just a few hundred people or house luxury tourist resorts which offer some of South Asia's most expensive holiday accommodation.
"Four resorts have been badly affected... we have moved about 300 tourists from badly affected resorts," Chief Government Spokesman Ahmed Shaheed said.


************************************************************
SURFING Magazine would like to thank everyone at Waterways Surf Adventures for the updated information and reports.

We know that many of you have vacation plans booked with WaterWays to Indonesia and the Maldives in 2005. As we gain more information we will continue to send out updates. We do not anticipate having enough detail to advise how individual travel plans are affected at this time. As the bulk of travel to these areas does not start until March / April we have some time to fully assess the situations prior to making any snap judgments. The individual operators in each area are dealing with personal tragedy involving family and friends. Let’s give these people some time to mend and heal before contacting them about our personal travel plans.

As a global community lets band together to make a difference!

Best Wishes, Hopes and Prayers
WaterWays Staff

For more information contact
WaterWays Surf Adventures
(888) 669-7873
waterways@waterwaystravel.com

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Niasland.com said...

Jakarta (NiasIsland.Com)

Maldives: Tsunami leaves garbage problems for atoll nation

by Lena Eskeland in the Maldives

Most visitors to the Maldives only get to see idyllic white sand beaches on beautiful resort islands surrounded by sparkling azure seas.
However the scattered atoll nation faces a major challenge to process waste, exacerbated by the 26 December tsunami -- a challenge the International Federation is helping the local population to meet.

According to the UN Environment Programme, the tsunami created an estimated 290,000 cubic meters of waste. While the authorities and communities have cleared away debris, much of it has so far only been pushed to one side. It still has to be properly disposed of.

Even before the tsunami, the Maldives faced serious difficulties in disposing of its waste in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.
The Maldives is made up of hundreds of mostly tiny islands in atoll groups. Land is scarce and the sea has been used as a dumping ground for the ever-increasing supply of rubbish and waste.
Garbage 'mountains'

Federation water and sanitation delegate Selina Chan is on her way to Thilafushi, one of the country's garbage islands. In addition to other programmes, a positive spin-off from the tsunami is the Federations' plans to improve the Maldives rubbish management systems.

Chan says the challenges faced are significant: "This includes oil barrels, asbestos and rusting building materials which leaches into the ground water," she says.
The Federation waste management programme aims not only clean up the tsunami debris, but establish long term solid waste disposal in the country.

Thilafushi has been one of the Maldives' three regional garbage islands since 1991, taking refuse from the capital Male and surrounding islands. Every year, 31,000 truckloads of garbage are transported to Thilafushi, where it is dumped in large piles and eventually used to reclaim land and increase the size of the island for industrial purposes. Although some rudimentary separation of waste is conducted, there is no recycling.

Tsunami debris adds to household garbage challenges
While garbage islands such as Thilafushi deal with industrial waste, albeit in a rudimentary manner, most domestic waste has to be dealt with on the islands where it is produced. Household rubbish is simply dumped at designated sites, often along a beach, and then left to wash out with the tide.

"This has detrimental effects on coral reefs which are important for the fishing and tourism industry - the two biggest sources of income for the Maldives," says Chan.
The island of Maafushi wasn't particularly hard hit by the tsunami. None of its 1,800 inhabitants died and only 18 houses were damaged. However it faces the dual problem of domestic and tsunami-generated rubbish. Waste litters the island and there is a rotten smell in the air.

"Tsunami waste is a big problem here. In addition, no houses have septic tanks, so all the sewage goes straight on to the beach," says Maafushi island chief Ali Nasheed Katheeb.
While some of the debris is the direct result of the tsunami hitting the island, the shallow waters and beaches around Maafushi are littered with large tree trunks, oil drums, and the remains of boats which have drifted from other islands and in some cases, other affected countries.

Canadian Red Cross recovery assessment delegate Peter Robinson says the tsunami and the pre-existing waste management issues have combined to create new problems. Now the tsunami waste and domestic waste all mixed together, presenting a real health hazard. Debris is also blocking access to beaches, delaying construction.

"Much of the debris can be turned into useful material on the same island. After it is crushed it can be used as fill for building sites, mounds to protect against the sea, or it can be put back onto the beach on places affected by erosion," says Robinson.
Enhancing water supplies

Waste management activities will be an integral part of the Federation's reconstruction activities. It has committed to building 2,159 houses, or 85 per cent of the housing construction needs as estimated by the Maldives government national disaster management centre.

An important product of the waste management programme will be the protection and maintenance of water supplies. In association with the housing project, the Federation will help put in place low maintenance but effective sanitation systems which will protect the precious fresh ground water and contribute to improving the general sanitation infrastructure.

The Federation programme will also provide rain harvesting equipment -- over 15,000 tanks and guttering systems to 80 of the tsunami-affected islands -- in order to ensure access to clean water. In the short term, parallel to the cleaning up of tsunami debris, septic tanks that have been filled with sea water are being cleaned.

Selina Chan says the tsunami has made already fragile drinking water supplies more vulnerable. "Rain harvesting systems were ripped off and storage tanks were washed out to sea. All ground water supplies were contaminated by the sea water. Even during normal times, the fresh water supply is a problem for the small islands. The tsunami made it even worse by taking out whatever mechanisms they had," she says.

Maafushi island chief Ali Nasheed Katheeb welcomes the fact that the Red Cross/Red Crescent is not just addressing the direct impact of the tsunami, but aiming to leave people in a better position than they had been before the disaster hit.

Whilst the tsunami wreaked a heavy toll on the Maldives, the nation of scattered atolls is looking forward to an enhanced waste management system to address problems which pre-dated the disaster.

"We are very happy that the Red Cross plans to come back and address these problems," says Maafushi's island chief.

12:38 PM  

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