Nias Earthquake Update
An earthquake beneath the island of Nias sent people into a panic throughout the western islands and coastal areas of Sumatra. The earthquake registered 8.7 on the Richter scale and immense damage and substantial loss of life occurred on Nias and Simeuleu Island.
An earthquake beneath the island of Nias sent people into a panic throughout the western islands and coastal areas of Sumatra. People immediately began evacuating coastal areas for fear of another tsunami, which did not occur. The earthquake registered 8.7 on the Richter scale and immense damage and substantial loss of life occurred on Nias and Simeuleu Island.
Global Ministries’ missionary Tim Fonderlin is currently working in Northern Sumatra, near Banda Aceh. We have heard by e-mail that he and his colleagues are safe.
Global Ministries’ Partner, The Communion of Churches in Indonesia, reports that 85% of the houses and buildings were damaged in Gunungsitoli, the capital of Nias. In addition: four churches collapsed, the Nias airstrip was destroyed, two markets burned, two vital bridges were damaged and electricity and telephone lines were cut. It is estimated 1000 people have been killed (many are trapped under the wreckage of buildings) and 10,000 more have been displaced. As of Wednesday, March 30, there are still no phones, no electricity, and no markets are open in the capital. Markets in surrounding communities are offering food at inflated prices. Aftershocks are still common and are complicating the evacuation and recovery efforts more difficult. The airport is now functioning, but only for small planes.
Global Ministries’ partners, Church World Service (CWS) and the development wing of the Communion of Churches of Indonesia (YTB), are involved in responding to the disaster in cooperation with YEU, an Islamic relief organization:
CWS is providing water sanitation and non-food items including medicine, blankets, mattresses, sarongs, masks, gloves and 500 tents. They are also providing a water purification unit which has the capacity to purify 25,000 liters per hour. YTB is providing food, support for volunteers, counseling, transportation and communication. YTB is committed to fulfilling the initial needs of 15,000 internally displaced people. YEU is also supplying relief goods and has sent a medical team.