Indonesia: The relief effort continues
HelpAge's rapid assessment report from Indonesia reveals the true gravity of the situation and the devastation caused by the earthquake which hit West Sumatra on 30 September.
The shocking statistics are contained in the latest provincial report from 8 October, indicating that the number of dead so far has reached 739, with a further 296 people still missing. The earthquake has reportedly destroyed 122,884 houses, of which 61,765 (50%) houses are in Padang District.
In addition, 55 schools and 231 government buildings were severely damaged. The total economic loss caused by the earthquake is estimated to be close to US$236 million, an extraordinary amount for a country so often battered by natural disasters.
HelpAge is working with partners, YEL and the Department of Social Affairs (DOSW), to provide swift and urgent provide relief and assistance to the five most affected sub-districts. The project will provide support in the form of cash transfers to 3,000 older people and their families. This amounts about 200 older people per village.
However, there is much more that needs to done and recovery is likely to be slow as people struggle to cope with the loss of their homes, belongings and livelihoods.