October 26, 2010
SITUATION: Indonesia is dealing with two disasters: a powerful earthquake that triggered a tsunami that killed at least 113 people, with the death toll rising, and a volcanic eruption that has prompted displacement of hundreds.
The Rev. Rugun Pakpahan, a contact with Church World Service (CWS), said at least six villages in the affected Mentawai District were inundated by the waves; he reported that 645 families have been displaced.
Information about damage remains sketchy, however, as the affected areas -- the Mentawai islands -- have been hard to reach given strong winds and rough seas, the Associated Press reported. The fault line for the quake is the same that caused the disastrous 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Meanwhile, Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most volatile volcano, began erupting today. At least one person was killed in the panic of those fleeing the affected area; late today it was reported that at least 18 people had died as a result of the volcanic eruption.
More than 11,000 people live on the 9,377-foot-high mountain, located on Java, some 310 miles southeast of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
Volcano experts that there is the possibility of a major eruption, prompting a maximum alert level. Indonesia officials began evacuating persons from the slopes of Mt. Merapi yesterday as an eruption appeared imminent.
CWS RESPONSE: In immediate response to the tsunami, Church World Service is providing 140 baby care kits and is assessing additional needs in partnership with the Mentawai Christian Protestant Church. CWS staff are monitoring the situation at Mount Merapi.
How You Can Help
1. Pray for the people of Indonesia, their leaders, and all emergency response workers.
2. To assist people worldwide who are impacted by disasters, please make a gift payable to your congregation marked for "International Disaster Relief” with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "International Disaster Relief " to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to the International Disaster Relief Fund.
Thank you for your compassion and support.