Earthquake in Central Java: The Church is Responding
An earthquake under the Indian Ocean of 6.2 happened on Saturday, 27 May 2006 05:46 a.m. local time. The epicentre was 33 km under the sea and 25 km south-west of Yogyakarta, 440 km south-east of Jakarta.
An earthquake under the Indian Ocean of 6.2 happened on Saturday, 27 May 2006 05:46 a.m. local time. The epicentre was 33 km under the sea and 25 km south-west of Yogyakarta, 440 km south-east of Jakarta, a popular tourist destination and historic royal metropolis that sits near the Indian Ocean. The quake was felt across the Central and Eastern Java, with aftershocks reported.
Southern coast of Indonesia’s Java Island shook and rippled through heavily populated regions in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces killing nearly 6,000 persons and injuring many thousands. The most devastated district is Bantul, 15 km south of the City of Yogyakarta, where 80% of buildings and houses destroyed. The real number of the death toll may never be known since people have taken their relatives’ bodies and buried them before could be tallied. The dead had generally suffered from head injuries and broken bones from collapsing buildings. There are fears that many people are trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. The poor in this region of Indonesia build their homes with bricks, but use no mortar to cement the bricks together. When the earthquake struck the homes collapsed into tombs. It is estimated that 200,000 are homeless. Torrential rains which fell in the days after the quake have worsened the disaster.
Many organizations including the European Union and UNICEF and at least 20 nations have sent medical personnel and resources. The U.S. military has sent four C-130 flights, which have taken 45 U.S. military personnel — including part of a trauma-surgery unit.
Yogyakarta is near the Mount Merapi volcano, which threatened to erupt earlier this month, forcing thousands of people evacuated. The quake also appears to have triggered increased activity in the region’s Merapi volcano. The hot, dense gas cloud, which locals call “shaggy goats” came out of the volcano after the quake, stretched 4 km down the mountainside. People who have been living in fear of the volcano eruption for weeks are very much still on edge.
Dr Richard Daulay, General Secretary of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI) wrote on May 31, 2006 that CCI, Global Ministries’ partner, is providing assistance through local churches in Yogyakarta and Bantul. Richard visited the Bethesda Christian Hospital and saw thousands of people sleeping on floors because the beds were full. Local churches are helping to provide food for the patients at the hospital. They are also building tent and providing medicine and medical doctors. Local churches are also sending food and volunteers into the destroyed neighborhoods to help with rescue and recovery.
One Great Hour of Sharing and Week of Compassion have sent emergency support from funds designated for disaster relief. Additional support can be sent to either OGHS or WOC. Online donations can be made here: