45,000 Children and Families Hardest Hit by the Sumatra Earthquake Get Life-saving Relief from Save the Children

Ed. note: Two-and-a-half weeks after a magnitude-7.9 earthquake shattered West Sumatra, Save the Children has provided critical shelter and relief items to 8,676 households, or 44,380 people, 60 percent of them children.

Ingrid Lund, Save the Children, communications officer, Padang, Indonesia

Ingrid_web The village Batu Basa lies in the hills in Aur Malintang district in West Sumatra. This area was hard hit by the earthquake. Here 90–95 percent of the population can no longer live in their houses, which are completely destroyed or in danger of collapsing.

Today, Save the Children is distributing hygiene kits in Batu Basa. The rain is pouring down. Therefore, the distribution is taking place inside a large, green tent the government has erected next to the narrow road that passes through the village. The tent has no floor. Four men sits on plastic chairs. In a corner are three younger men and a boy relaxing and leaning against some cardboard boxes from Save the Children containing the hygiene items.

 

"This is a very difficult situation for all of us. My house was completely destroyed in the earthquake. Now 15 peopl, me included, are sleeping in thhis tent. We have nowhere else to go. When it rains like this, everything inside the tent gets soaking wet," Says Hari.

 

Save the Children staff are working round the clock to deliver relief to the most vulnerable children and their families.

 

The agency plans to reach 150,000 people — among them 90,000 children — with shelter, household and hygiene kits. These kits include plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, a cook stove, pots, pans, cutlery, soap, toothbrush, detergent and other hygiene items. 

 

(Pictured below, more than 8,400 shelter kits being unloaded from the first of three airplanes bringing supplies.)

 

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Save the Children has been able to quickly deliver vital supplies to the worst-hit areas because we had items stored in warehouses in Indonesia before the earthquake. Indonesia is prone to natural disasters, and we know that advance preparation is the key to saving lives and mitigating the effects of a crisis,” said Peter Sykes, Save the Children’s team leader in West Sumatra.

Save the Children has worked in Indonesia for over three decades. In recent years, it has responded to nearly all minor, medium-sized and major natural disasters in the country.

In addition to providing immediate relief to children and families after a disaster, the agency helps communities prepare for emergencies and develop the capacity to reduce risks posted by disasters in the future.

Learn more about Save the Children's emergency response in the Asia-Pacific region.

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