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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Westport’s Save the Children Aiding Victims of Asia Quake

Westport’s Save the Children said today it is moving quickly to provide food, water, medicine and shelter to thousands of Indonesian children and their families impacted by a massive earthquake that rocked south Asia Monday.

Save the Children is focusing its latest emergency response efforts on Nias and Simeulue—two islands off the coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia—where hundreds of people were killed and many homes destroyed, the charity said in a statement. Nias has a population of more than 440,000 and Simeulue a population of 78,000.

It seems totally unfair that children and their families in Indonesia once again have been so heavily impacted by a second major earthquake in three months,Ӕ said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children.

We will continue to work throughout Aceh province and northern Sumatra to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of children as a result of the two earthquakes. The psychological impact that this second earthquake will undoubtedly have upon children cannot be underestimated.Ӕ

Two planes loaded with medical kits and supplies are expected to leave Sumatra shortly, and a large cargo ship containing medical kits, large tents, baby food and a variety of household items already is on its way to the islands, the charity said.

Save the Children, which has worked in northern Sumatra for 30 years, had staff members on the island of Simeulue when Monday’s earthquake hit. Staff responded immediately, helping provide medical care at a public hospital in the town of Sinabang, the capital of Simeulue.

Save the Children staff reported that about 40 percent of the houses and shops in downtown Sinabang were badly damaged, the statement said.

Save the Childrens own office in Sinabang was virtually destroyed, but the earthquake struck late Monday night, and staff members were not in the building at the time. ғOur staff members were sleeping in houses that withstood the shocks of the earthquake, said MacCormack. ԓWe were very fortunate.”

Experts said Mondays earthquake was very similar in location and magnitude to the earthquake that rocked south Asia and parts of Africa on Dec. 26 and triggered one of historyҒs most deadly tsunamis. However, Mondays earthquake did not create a similar tsuanmi because a much smaller area of the ocean floor moved, seismologists said.

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Posted 03/29/05 at 10:53 PM  Permalink



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