Padang, Indonesia (AFP) Nov 1, 2010
Indonesian officials on Monday denied reports that aid is rotting in ports as desperate tsunami survivors scavenge for wild roots a week after the disaster that killed around 450 people.
As President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his country would accept foreign money for reconstruction of the tsunami-hit villages, there were also reports that the government planned to relocate people away from the coast.
Survivors of last Monday's three-metre (10-foot) wave in the Mentawai islands off western Sumatra have complained that aid has been too slow to reach them, and relief workers have said coordination has been poor.
The wave was triggered by a 7.7-magnitude offshore earthquake and flattened around 10 villages, destroying schools, mosques and flimsy traditional homes along remote and undeveloped beaches popular with foreign surfers.
About 13,000 have been made homeless and another 88 are still listed as missing, feared dead.
Officials admit that only a fraction of supplies such as food, water, tents, medicine and blankets that have reached nearby ports have been distributed to survivors, citing bad weather and a lack of boats and helicopters.
Tonnes of aid have been piling up at the Sumatran port of Padang, half a day's voyage away by sea from the worst-hit islands, and at unaffected towns on the Mentawais such as Sikakap and Tua Pejat.
"We understand that there's been bad weather, that's a serious challenge. But this should have been predicted earlier," said Khalid Saifullah, a coordinator for independent local aid agencies.
"It seems that the local government has treated this matter too lightly ... Delays have been due to inadequate preparation."
The Jakarta Globe newspaper reported that food aid such as rice and instant noodles had been drenched in seawater, and witnessed incidents of looting by local aid workers in Tue Pejat.
It also found that aid officials were confused about who was in charge of the relief effort.
Disaster management official Joskamatir said reports about looting, poor coordination and food going bad on the docks were "untrue".
"The delays were due to unfriendly weather. But now we can reach the affected areas and aid is being sent, although it's limited," he said.
"The relief operations are going very smoothly. Everyone is working very hard -- volunteers, officials, the aid agencies."
earlier related report
Searing grey fumes and ash shot high into the sky and rolled down the slopes of the 2,914-metre (9,616-foot) mountain, Indonesia's most active volcano, spreading fear and panic among nearby residents in central Java.
Merapi, a sacred landmark in Javanese culture whose name translates as "Mountain of Fire", has convulsed regularly since last Tuesday's major eruptions, driving up to 50,000 people into temporary shelters.
"There'll be more eruptions as not all the energy has been released. Eruptions will continue to take place in the weeks ahead," volcanologist Surono said.
He said there was no current need to expand a 10-kilometre (six-mile) exclusion zone around the mountain, but warned those in cramped shelters it was still too unsafe to go back to their homes.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Weather clears for Indonesia tsunami aid as toll climbs
South Pagai, Indonesia (AFP) Oct 31, 2010
Indonesia ramped up aid operations Sunday for victims of last week's devastating tsunami, as the toll climbed despite the discovery of 135 traumatised villagers who were feared dead. Monsoonal storms and high seas have plagued efforts to reach disaster-struck coastal villages since they were crushed by the three-metre (10-foot) wall of water late on Monday night, after an earthquake off the ... read more
Indonesia battles disasters on two fronts|
Stark warning three months into Pakistan flood crisis
Billions in Afghanistan aid dollars unaccounted for: audit
Chilean mining safety still on the agenda
Google giving away Google TV devices to developers
Smaller Is Better In The Viscous Zone
Two NASA Spacecraft Begin New Exploration Assignments
Space Fence Design Moves Into Next Phase
Disappearing Lake Chad harming regional stability: PM
Vulnerable atoll nation plans seawall to block rising seas
Iceland rejects 'unrealistic' EU mackerel quota: negotiator
Britain announces marine 'planning' zones
Whales Help Researchers Take Winter Temperature Of Greenland Coastal Waters
NASA Airborne Science Campaign Begins Antarctic Sequel
UBC Underwater Robot To Explore Ice-Covered Ocean And Antarctic Ice Shelf
Susitna Glacier, Alaska
Inuit to appeal EU seals ruling
Bulgarian parliament allows brown bear hunting
Canadian seal hunters lose bid to lift EU import ban
Master chocolatiers give green cocoa a boost
Indonesia denies failures in tsunami aid effort
Typhoon Chaba churns towards eastern Japan
Scores found alive in Indonesia tsunami zone
Death toll from Thai floods hits 100
Tanzanians vote as ruling party predicts landslide win
Nani Croze - East Africa's answer to Gaudi
Arms shipment found in Nigeria loaded in Iran: firm
Madagascar's illicit wood trade to China
American teen crowned Miss World 2010
How Genes Are Selectively Silenced
Fossils double age of humans in Asia
Study: Human ancestors not 'out of Africa'
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|