Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Sep 27th
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Home Global Activities Asia Tzu Chi Gives Aid to Earthquake Survivors in Indonesia

Tzu Chi Gives Aid to Earthquake Survivors in Indonesia

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On July 5th, volunteers from Tzu Chi distributed food, clothing and daily necessities to 700 victims of a serious earthquake in Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was just three days after the disaster struck; the foundation was the first organization to conduct a distribution.

On July 2nd, the 6.2-magnitude earthquake damaged Central Aceh Regency and Bener Meriah Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Aceh Tengah and Kabupaten Bener Meriah). It destroyed over 80% of the structures -- 15,919 houses and 623 public buildings -- in these two regions. The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management reported that, as of 2 p.m. July 7th, there were 40 deaths, 63 people seriously injured and over 2,000 with minor injuries; in addition, six people were missing and more than 20,000 had been evacuated.

On July 4th, Tzu Chi volunteers from Medan urgently traveled to Lhokseumawe and met volunteers from the area. At 4 a.m. next day, 36 volunteers arrived on the scene. Tagore, the former Magistrate of Bener Meriah Regency, joined the relief work and offered transportation to the volunteers to assess the needs of the remote areas that had been affected.

The volunteers distributed to 700 survivors the following goods: 276 blankets, 1,600 sarongs, 250 kg of sugar, 5,100 kg of rice, 240 liters of cooking oil, 200 boxes of bottle water, 360 packs of biscuit, 50 pieces of clothes and three bags of second-hand clothes.

One survivor, Rapiah, 67, said that she and her grandson had been woken by the earthquake: “my house was damaged and we had to escape from the window. I am very thankful for the immediate help of the Tzu Chi Foundation,” she said.

Darni, a 23-year-old resident of Central Aceh Regency, and her 20-month daughter were trapped in their house, which had been brought down by the earthquake. Fortunately, a passing gardener rescued them promptly. Darni and her family were very grateful to receive help from Tzu Chi.

That same evening, several after-quakes rocked the land. The volunteers wrapped blankets around the victims and tried to warm their hearts. “Although it is not a thick blanket, we feel the warmness,” said one victim, who was touched by this kindness. “We thank Tzu Chi for its relief goods and care.”

Some local residents said that there were two villages -- Desa Serempah and Desa Kala Ketol -- affected by a landslide. Currently, the roads are blocked and there is no official information on them.

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