Update: March 29, 2004
Dear SurfAid supporters,
The team at SurfAid International is deeply saddened by yet another tragedy occurring in Sumatra, Indonesia. The March 28 earthquake measured between 8.2 and 8.9 on the Richter scale. This is one of the most powerful earthquakes the world has experienced in recorded history. The worst affected areas are the islands off the west coast of Sumatra, including Nias, Simeulue and the Banyak Islands. This quake has compounded the humanitarian crisis in the region still suffering from the effects of the December 26 catastrophe.
We are very appreciative of all the calls and e-mails that we have been receiving. All of our staff members located in Padang, West Sumatra, are safe, however there is still little word on our field team in Simeulue.
There is still no news on the following staff:
Rudi Sutriady – logistician
Enny Novita – part-time office support
Bapak Harun – driver
All efforts will continue to be made to contact the SurfAid staff in the Simeulue office.
The following is the latest news on the ground in Nias:
+ Indonesian officials report 330 people killed on Nias and Simeulue, though the death toll could reach more than 2,000.
+ We have located our staff member Herman who is now in Gunung Sitoli, where he is hard at work putting together a management team to assist the incoming doctors.
+ Herman reports widespread devastation of infrastructure.
+ The local hospital is still standing.
+ Hospital staff have fled, and there are scores of injured and nobody to attend to them.
SurfAid is planning emergency interventions to the worst affected areas of Nias and surrounding islands. Many of the affected populations are in isolated locations that may now be reachable only by boat, as most of the bridges on Nias have been destroyed. SurfAid’s unique and established relationships with the local surf-charter industry have allowed us to use marine-based resources to rapidly initiate relief operations.
Initial plans comprise a marine-based medical and relief operation to address the worst hit areas of Gunung Sitoli and Teluk Dalam, Nias Island’s largest towns. Both towns suffered extensive damage. Up to 80% of Gunung Sitoli’s (population 20,000-30,000) buildings were destroyed, and reports from Teluk Dalam (population 10,000) indicate a similar situation. There are direct reports of people trapped under wreckage and numerous injuries, with a complete breakdown of communications, infrastructure and services.
Boat MV Saranya
2 SurfAid nurses, drugs, mosquito nets, rice, water and other food items
Surgical team from AusAID who will meet with our team on the ground comprising of:
2 Trauma Nurses
1 Emergency specialist
Dr Dave Jenkins + 2 other Dr's
Translator, team leader
5 Trauma Nurses
Medical teams will assess the level of injuries of the affected populations for on-site treatment and stabilization of more severe cases for evacuation (on SurfAid boats) and further treatment in hospitals of the nearest unaffected port Sibolga, located on the Sumatran mainland east of Nias.
For more detailed information and daily updates, please visit the SurfAid International web site at www.surfaidinternational.org.
Many of you have asked how you can help. As always, the greatest need at times like this is funding, which enables us to fully maximize the scope of our operations. We greatly appreciate your continued support and concern.