Toll jumps in Indonesia earthquake

More than 4,611 people are now thought to have died following an earthquake on Indonesia's Java island, officials say.

Toll jumps in Indonesia earthquake

More than 4,611 people are now thought to have died following an earthquake on Indonesia's Java island, officials say. Officials said on Sunday a further 20,000 people had been wounded after the earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, hit the island at 6am on Saturday. Most people were asleep at the time. Rescue workers are still working to find survivors, but efforts are being hampered by frequent power cuts and heavy rain.

Meanwhile, hospitals remain clogged with the wounded, some lying on plastic sheets or newspapers, others hooked to intravenous drips hanging from trees. Andrew Jeremijenko, a hospital volunteer, said: "There's a lot of severe injuries. [Our hospital] was definitely overwhelmed. "There are not enough nurses or doctors to cope."

Tens of thousands spent the night without shelter, although aid is beginning to arrive in Yogyakarta province and the town of Bantul, where more than 2,400 people were killed and 80% of the homes were destroyed.

Aftershocks

Several aftershocks shook the region, and many residents did not return to their homes. The affected area is about 25km from the Mount Merapi volcano that has been emitting molten lava for the past two weeks. Thousands had already been staying in emergency shelters amid fears of an eruption.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president, visited the disaster area and ordered the military to evacuate victims as soon as possible. The national government in Jakarta, 400km from Yogyakarta, has put aside $5.5 million for relief operations.

Global support

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies issued an emergency appeal on Sunday for nearly $10 million aid as relief agencies and foreign governments pledged their support. Kathryn Donovan, the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said in a statement: "We have re-located staff to the earthquake zone and we are sending thousands of tents, tarpaulins, and lanterns, as well as water supply equipment."

Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, France and Norway have dispatched emergency medical teams to the area. Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, sent his condolences and offered $2.27 million for emergency food, shelter and medical supplies, while China offered $2 million and extra help as needed. The US pledged $2.5 million in initial aid, the US state department said.

 

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
Add Comment