Aid Groups Gear Up for Earthquake, Tsunami Response in Indonesia

Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, began erupting early Tuesday. Aid agencies help families prepare for the volcano's eruption, which could be its worst. Photo by: Wikipedia

Twin natural disasters struck two islands in Indonesia, leaving hundreds of people dead and hundreds more missing. Local authorities have started initial recovery and relief operations while aid organizations said they are on standby to provide assistance.

A tsunami pounded Sumatra and several surrounding islands in Western Indonesia following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit late Monday evening (Oct. 25), news agencies report. Local officials said the death toll has passed 100 and more than 500 are missing.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s most active volcano began erupting early Tuesday (Oct. 26). At least one person has been reported dead while up to 20 people were injured due to the hot ash from the eruption, The Associated Press reports.

Aid agencies have been engaged in local efforts to help families prepare for the volcano’s eruption, which scientists warned could be Mount Merapi’s worst eruption ever. Several aid groups have also indicated they are ready to assist local authorities in the relief and recovery operations if necessary.

“Our staff are on standby to support the government and communities with this emergency and will continue to do so on disaster management related activities,” John McDonough, Plan International’s country director in Indonesia, said in a statement.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.