Monday, May 29, 2006

Earth Quake in Jogja: Indonesia Shaken Again

Death toll rises in Indonesia

News, World, Environment «
May 27, 2006
by Pavlos
People in Jogjakarta, Java, are still trying to recover the devastating 6.2 earthquake which devastated the densely populated area.

Last count speaks of at least 3,000 people dead, while an equal number of people are seriously injured or in critical condition. Many injured remain on the streets as hospitals have been damaged, or not safe in case of another earthquake. Countries around the world have offered to assist the government of Indonesia and send in rescue crews and humanitarian aid.

Although the fear of a greater earthquake striking is gradually decreasing, the near by Mount Merapi is causing great concerns. The government of Indonesia had been preparing prior to the earthquake for the possible eruption of the Merapi volcano. Now, it seems it will be very hard to avoid it, as scientists worry the earthquake managed to speed up the volcano. However, with the earthquake wreaking havoc already - Indonesian government may well be too overwhelmed right now. Perhaps unable to handle a concurrent natural disaster. If Merapi erupts, lava and poisonous gas would affect a land area inhabited by about 500,000 people who have already suffered much due to the earthquake.

International aid is on the way, while embassies are trying to locate their nationals. People visiting Jogjakarta who have not yet contacted their national embassy should do so as soon as possible as friends and relatives are actively seeking their whereabouts.

Meanwhile another 6.2 earthquake hit Papua New Guinea earlier today, and a 6.7 hit near the Pacific island of Toga. Both claimed no victims or damages yet as they were away from populated areas or underwater, however they concur to an elevated seismic activity in the Pacific.

I still don’t know of any specific fund-raising effort to support victims in Java, but a safe place to give, is always the International Committee of the Red Cross.

For more information, on the Jogjakarta situation, check out the Mount Merapi blog. Created to report on the Merapi Volcano situation and evacuation, now has earthquake information as well.