In Disaster-ravaged Indonesia, Aid Slow to Arrive

Problems in logistics and poor weather are causing bottlenecks in the delivery of aid to Indonesia, which was ravaged by twin natural disasters early this week.

Relief efforts were limited as helicopters and ships were taking hours to reach communities affected by the disasters, said Hartje Robert Winerungan, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

“Some villages in the remote island can’t be reached so far,” Winerungan was quoted by BBC as saying. “We’re working on it.”

World Vision coordinator Anggraeni Puspitasari, meanwhile, said bad weather is hampering aid efforts, The New York Times reports.

“The local government has provided two speedboats, but yesterday we were only able to get one out there,” she said from Padang. “Today, only one could go as well. It’s because the weather is still unstable.”

Immediate humanitarian needs include clean water, food, blankets, clothing, medical attention, emergency shelter and hygiene kits, said Ita Balanda, a program manager for World Vision in Padang, CNN reports.

World Vision has sent rapid response teams to Mentawai Islands and Java to assess the needs of affected communities, while the European Commission has allocated euro1.5 million (USD2 million) for the victims of the tsunami that resulted from a powerful earthquake and the eruption of Mount Merapi.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.