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At a glance: Indonesia

Supplies reach tsunami-stricken south coast of Indonesia’s Java island

© UNICEF Indonesia/2006/Purnomo
Deden, 7, finds a few of his belongings in the rubble of his family’s destroyed home in Pangandaran, the area hardest hit by the 17 July tsunami in Java.

By Sabine Dolan 

NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2006 – UNICEF supplies have reached the south coast of Indonesia’s Java island, where an earthquake and tsunami struck on Monday, leaving hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Six truckloads of UNICEF emergency aid are arriving today from Yogyakarta, Central Java. The supplies include 24 water bladders, 200 tarpaulins for shelter, five large tents, 5,000 jerry cans to carry safe water, 1,000 hygiene kits and a basic emergency health kit with essential medical supplies.

The death toll in the disaster has now risen to more than 500, with nearly 400 injured and close to 300 still missing. Rescue workers are assisting the injured and continue their search for survivors, but hopes of finding any more are dimming.

The epicentre of the earthquake that triggered the tsunami was located offshore near the beach resort of Pangandaran in West Java. The US Geological Survey said the first quake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and was followed by several aftershocks. The tsunami sent six-foot waves crashing ashore and sent thousands running for higher ground.

Aftershocks prompt renewed fears

Children and families displaced by the earthquake and tsunami are being sheltered temporarily in community halls, schools and mosques. Many, especially those living close to the water, were evacuated due to their trauma and fear of another tsunami.

“Most of the people are afraid of the tsunami – that’s why so many moved to the camps,” said UNICEF Emergency Officer Lina Sofiani. And recent aftershocks have prompted renewed fears among an already traumatized population.

UNICEF is also concerned about the welfare of children who have been separated from their families. While the number of separated children is still unknown, the Red Cross estimates that nearly a third of all those displaced by the tsunami are children.








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