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International Christian Relief Group Distributes Aid to Villages Buried in Indonesian Landslides

An international Christian relief organization is on the scene providing relief to families in Indonesia after massive flooding and landslides buried cities in mud and debris.
( [email protected] ) Jan 05, 2006 08:26 PM EST

An international Christian relief organization is on the scene providing relief to families in Indonesia after massive flooding and landslides buried cities in mud and debris.

On Jan. 2, the floods and landslides were triggered by three days of torrential rains and has caused damage to three villages in the Panti sub-district, located 900 kilometers east of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

According to World Vision (WV) in a statement released on Jan. 4, WV Indonesia is distributing 200 family kits and plastic sheets to help support the victims in the Jember district in the east Java province.

Neighboring the east Java province, the local media has reported that the flooding and the landslides damaged roads and bridges in the densely populated area.

At least 57 people have been reportedly killed, scores are missing and injured, while 5,000 people have fled their homes seeking refuge in temporary shelters.

The Red Cross said that the death toll is likely to soar.

"There were more than 100 families living at the buried area and if we say each family has three members, 300 could be buried if all of them were there," Irman Rachman, head of disaster management at the Indonesian Red Cross, told Reuters. "Hopefully, some were out of the village when it happened."

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that rescuers on Thursday were searching for possibly hundreds of bodies buried under the massive landslide in Indonesia's Central Java province.

So far the rescuers have recovered 34 bodies from the debris, while hundreds of rescuers from the military, police and aid groups have joined in the search. The evacuation efforts, however, have been hampered by the rain and the lack of equipment.

The relief efforts continued in Surabaya, the capital of east Java. Since early Wednesday, the WV team in Surabaya has began organizing the distribution of relief goods since early Wednesday.

Gideon Pramono, World Vision Team Leader in Surabaya and coordinator of the distribution efforts said, "I have asked all staff to join hands and pack all the goods…so that we can send them as soon as possible to the victims."

The relief aid includes family kits that contain dishes, spoons, pans, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, blankets, sarongs, and plastic sheeting. Pramono said to World Vision that the goods reach the victims – some 200 kilometers away – on Thursday.

Two of the staff were already sent to the area on Tuesday to assess the situation.

Pramono said, "They reported Tuesday night that the government and other local people have been providing adequate supplies of food, such as rice and noodles. Emergency health services have also been adequate. However, the survivors badly need family kits, sanitation items, blankets and sarongs as they brought nothing when they fled from their villages."

Therefore, WV reported that they will further assess the needs of the communities and whether they will continue to support the survivors with emergency relief.