Only one day after the first earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a SECOND one hit on September 30, only 180 miles from the epicenter of the first one, leaving the area devastated. The second quake measured 6.6 in magnitude.
Early reports estimate that 500 are dead and thousands more are severely injured, still trapped or missing after buildings caught fire, homes collapsed, airports closed, and residents and tourists became trapped. In Padang, one of the hardest hit towns, at least 500 homes caved in.
The Indonesian Red Cross (also known as Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) has dispatched nearly 300 volunteers, (including 45 doctors to the quake zone to offer first aid services, shelter and other assistance for those in need) and thousands of relief supplies, such as tarps, blankets and sarongs, are also being moved from warehouses in Jakarta to Padang.
While the American Red Cross is initially donating $100,000 to the Indonesian Red Cross, The global Red Cross network is now responding to five near-simultaneous disasters in Asia Pacific (the Ketsana typhoon of 9/26/2009; an 8.3-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit on 9/29/2009 that rocked Samoa, Tonga and America Samoa; the first 7.6-magnitude quake that hit off the coast of Padang, West Sumatra on 9/30/2009; and the second earthquake that hit 10/1/2009 in the Jambi region of Indonesia) and needs your help!
Ways to help:
- Donate now – you can make a tax-deductable financial contribution to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund, International Response Fund, or to your local Red Cross chapter.
- Volunteer your time
- Give Blood
For inquiries about relatives living and who have citizenship in Indonesia, please be patient and call repeatedly until the lines clear or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster. People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Indonesia should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.
You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Donations to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.