VARIOUS: Aid slowly arrives in Indonesia following an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people
- Title: VARIOUS: Aid slowly arrives in Indonesia following an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people
- Date: 29th May 2006
- Summary: PATIENT BEING CARRIED TO THE FIELD HOSPITAL (2 SHOTS) PATIENTS AND WORKERS IN THE JAPANESE CLINIC (6 SHOTS) FIELD HOSPITAL TENT
- Reuters ID: LVA40CH5ACDM7JTP4X31DSVNWN1S
- Duration: 00:00:44
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Story Text: Aid was trickling in on Monday (May 29) for survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people on Indonesia's Java island and left tens of thousands of homeless.
Many survivors who were injured or whose homes were destroyed by the quake spent a rainy Sunday (May 28) night in the open on the grounds of hospitals and mosques or in makeshift shelters beside the rubble of their houses.
The 6.3 magnitude quake's official death toll reached 5,136. The tremor early on Saturday (May 27) was centered just off the Indian Ocean coast near Yogyakarta, the former Javanese royal capital.
Government figures put the number of injured at 2,155, but the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said there were 20,000 injured and more than 130,000 homeless, of which 40 percent are children.
Hospital lists of the dead also showed children and old people, who had a harder time scrambling from houses as they collapsed, as disproportionately represented among the victims.
Government and private aid agencies agree shelter in the form of tents is a top aid priority, along with clean water supplies.
Up to 35,000 homes and buildings in and around Yogyakarta were reduced to rubble. Although the aid was arriving slower than some on the ground wished, the international community has rallied to help, pledging tens of millions of dollars and offering medical relief teams, disaster experts and emergency supplies.
Emergency supplies, consisting of health and hygiene kits for tens of thousands of people as well as water supply carriages, had reached the hardest-hit area of Bantul. Indonesian President Susilo Bambamg Yudhoyono, who had set up an office in Yogyakarta to oversee the rescue and relief operations, made a round of an evacuation camp and helped distribute relief aid.
Among the aid workers trickling in to help the survivors, a contingent of Japanese doctors set up a field clinic with a capacity to treat around 500 people. Another group of doctors is due to arrive on Tuesday (May 30) with enough medical supplies to treat another 1,000.
"The government has said they need tents and also beds, hospital beds, as there are many people who are at the hospital who are under medical observation, sleeping in the hallway of the hospital," said Yoshikazu Yamada, Deputy Director General Yoshikazu as the field hospital treated its first patients.
"I hope we can cooperate with the Japanese team because the people are in need of a great amount of care," said Dr. M. Thamrin of PKU Muhammadiyah Hospital. But earthquake survivors felt the aid was slow in coming, and some where taking matters into their own hands.
On the streets crowded with motorbikes and vehicles, people -- including small children -- could be seen with boxes and cans, begging drivers for donations to help rebuild their shattered lives. The government has put relief and rebuilding costs at around 1 trillion rupiah (107 million dollars) and said it was aiming to complete reconstruction within a year.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said co-ordination was needed to make sure those who need it most had access to the relief materials.
"On the subject of funds, aid has already come and if all the funds are not coordinated, it will be late to be distributed and will not reach those it is meant for," Yudhoyono told reporters.
Kuwait on Monday pledged to send 4 million U.S. dollars of aid to Indonesia.
"We have a plane leaving on Thursday. The plane will be full of medicine , all the medicine they will need, it will be full of dates, milk and canned food hat they will need as soon as possible," said Bergus Albergus, chief operations officer from the Kuwaiti Red Crescent.
China has sent plane carrying a medical team and emergency supplies to the earthquake ravaged areas of Indonesia on Monday (May 29).
The Chinese Government announced on Saturday (May 27) it would offer Indonesia emergency aid worth 2 million U.S. dollars in cash.
Saturday's quake was the latest misfortune to hit the world's fourth-most populated country after Islamic militant bombings, bird flu outbreaks and the massive 2004 quake and tsunami.
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