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Posts Tagged ‘Indonesia’

Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 322

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:51 am

JAKARTA, Nov 23, 2010 (AFP) – Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano has killed 322 people since it began erupting late last month, and over 130,000 people are still living in makeshift camps, an official said Tuesday.


“The Merapi death toll has reached 322 people. More than 130,000 people are still living in temporary shelters,” disaster management official Agam Ferdatama said, updating the previous toll of 309 dead.


“Rescuers found many bodies in the incinerated area of Cangkringan,” he said.


The government reduced the exclusion zone on Friday for the second time in a week because of the volcano’s declining volatility, allowing more refugees to return to their homes.


Ferdatama said they had updated the number of refugees from more than 200,000 people.


Merapi killed around 1,300 people in 1930 but experts say November has seen its biggest convulsions since 1872.

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Source: SGGP

Moderate quake strikes Indonesia

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 3:55 am

Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 240

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

Indonesia issues flight warning as volcano spews ash

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

Weather clears for Indonesia tsunami aid as toll climbs

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 11:11 am

Scores found alive in Indonesia tsunami zone

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

SOUTH PAGAI, Indonesia, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Scores of people feared dead in Indonesia’s tsunami disaster zone were found alive Saturday as rescue workers spread out to remote island communities five days after the killer wave.


The discovery came as Indonesia struggled with disaster on two fronts following another powerful eruption of the archipelago’s most active volcano, which spread chaos and ash over a vast area of central Java.

Three-week-old tsunami survivor Indonesian baby is attended by a nurse at a hospital in Sikakap in North Pagai island, one of the Mentawai islands on October 30, 2010. AFP

On the tsunami-hit Mentawai island chain off the coast of Sumatra, rescue workers battling rough seas and monsoon rain found 135 people hiding on high ground, too scared of another wave to return to their shattered villages.


“We’re so grateful that we’ve found many of the missing people — we’d been working very hard to find them,” disaster management official Joskamatir said.


Officials had held little hope of finding many of the missing after flights over the area earlier in the week revealed dozens of unclaimed bodies strewn across beaches and wedged in rubble.


Many of the dead were also believed to have been sucked out to sea as the killer wave receded.


The number of missing was almost halved from 298 to 163 following Saturday’s discovery, while the death count remained at 413, according to an official tally.


Rescue workers were reaching some of the isolated coastal villages crushed by the three-metre (10-foot) wall of water which was triggered on Monday by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake, but monsoon weather was slowing the relief effort.


“Before help came I survived by eating whatever we could find, such as taro,” said Theopilus, 42, a farmer on the worst-hit island of South Pagai.


“We’re in dire need of more food, tents and blankets. I feel really cold at night as it rains all the time.”


In central Java, 1,300 kilometres (810 miles) to the southeast, terrified residents fled in panic when Mount Merapi erupted again just after midnight, fearing a repeat of explosions on Tuesday that claimed at least 36 lives.


No one was killed in the latest eruption, but hospital staff reported that two people had died in the chaotic rush to escape.


“I was sleeping on the veranda when loud booms like thunder woke me up,” local resident Kris Budianto, 51, told AFP. He suffered a broken arm and facial wounds when he crashed his motorbike in the melee.


Volcanic ash rained down on the Central Java provincial capital of Yogyakarta 26 kilometres away from the crater, shutting the airport for over an hour.


Government volcanologist Subandrio said more eruptions were likely and warned about 50,000 people who have been evacuated from the danger zone not to tempt fate by going home too soon.


“We will even have to evaluate whether we need to widen the exclusion zone because we should not downplay the threat — Mount Merapi is extremely dangerous,” he said.


Many displaced people return to the slopes of 2,914-metre Merapi, a sacred landmark in Javanese tradition whose name means “Mountain of Fire”, to tend to their precious livestock during the day.


On North Pagai, dazed and hungry survivors of Monday night’s tsunami were still roaming between devastated villages looking for food and lost loved ones.


A baby was born in a crammed medical clinic as a man died of his wounds just a few beds away.


Another ship bearing badly need supplies such as tents, medicine and food arrived at Sikakap on the protected side of North Pagai island, while helicopters dropped aid packages to cut-off villages.


Joskamatir said only five percent of the aid piling up at Sikakap had been delivered to those in need, citing bad weather and the “limited availability of transportation” such as boats and helicopters.


“There are three helicopters here already but we still need more speedboats. We need about 50 speedboats,” he said.


Australia and the United States have pledged aid worth a total of three million dollars while the European Commission released 1.5 million euros (two million dollars) for victims of both disasters.


Indonesia straddles a region known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, with scores of active volcanoes and major tectonic fault lines. Almost 170,000 Indonesians were killed in the 2004 Asian tsunami.


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited tsunami survivors on Thursday and said the “only long-term solution” was for people to move away from the most vulnerable coastal areas.


Mentawai fisherman Hari, 24, agreed.


“I plan to leave my village. I don’t want to live here anymore. I’m traumatised,” he said.

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Source: SGGP

Indonesia battles to aid tsunami survivors

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

A woman searches for her belongings in a collapsed house in Taparaboat village in the Mentawai islands, West Sumatra, on October 28, 2010. AFP

NORTH PAGAI, Indonesia (AFP) – Indonesia battled to deliver aid to remote islands where a tsunami has killed over 400 people, as bodies lay strewn on beaches and buried in debris days after the wave hit.


Disaster response officials believe the final death toll from the huge wave that hit the Mentawai island chain off the west coast of Sumatra Monday could pass 600, with many of the victims sucked out to sea as the tsunami receded.


Almost 13,000 people are living in makeshift camps on the islands after their homes were wiped out in the wave, which was triggered by a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake.


Elsewhere in the disaster-prone archipelago, the nation’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, was spewing lava and ash, threatening residents who may have returned to their homes after an eruption on Tuesday killed 34 people.


“It shot heat clouds at 6:10 am as far as 3.5 kilometres (over two miles) down its southeastern slopes and followed this with ash rain,” volcanologist Heru Suparwoko told AFP.


The clouds were “definitely dangerous” for people who had refused to obey orders to evacuate the danger zone on the island of Java or who had returned to tend to their livestock and property, he added.


Some 50,000 people have fled to temporary shelters but many are returning to their fields on the volcano during the day, despite the threat of another deadly eruption.


On the Mentawais, a legendary destination for foreign surfers but an otherwise poor and neglected part of Indonesia, bodies were being found buried on beaches and even stuck in trees.


The latest official death toll stood at 408, with 303 still listed as missing. Officials said as many as 200 of the missing were not expected to be found alive.


“When we flew over the area yesterday (Wednesday) we saw many bodies. Heads and legs were sticking out of the sand, some of them were in the trees,” disaster official Ade Edward said Thursday.


Indonesia initially refused offers of foreign aid but Australia announced that Jakarta had accepted about one million US dollars worth of assistance for both disasters.


The European Commission released 1.5 million euros (two million dollars) in aid and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations stood ready to assist in any way.


“Indonesia is currently addressing a multitude of emergencies, whose cumulative impact is putting local capacity under severe strain,” European aid chief Kristalina Georgieva said.


The United States and several Asian countries have also offered help.


Bad weather has hampered efforts to ferry aid such as tents, medicine, food and water to the islands by boat from the nearest port of Padang, which is more than half a day away even in the best conditions.


Troops and warships have been dispatched to the region but more helicopters and boats are needed to ferry aid to the most isolated communities, some of which lack roads and wireless communications.


“Our staff have been waiting in Padang since Monday night to reach the remote area. They are now still in Padang,” World Vision emergency response director Jimmy Nadapdap said.


Dave Jenkins of independent health agency Surfaid International, which is based in the Mentawais, said: “Bad weather is forecast and a severely challenging situation has been made a lot worse.”


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the area Thursday and told survivors the government was doing everything it could to help them.


Officials have batted away questions about why an expensive warning system — established after the 2004 Asian tsunami killed almost 170,000 people on Sumatra and nearby islands — failed to alert people on the Mentawais.


Survivors said the only warning they received was the “roaring” sound of the wave as it sped towards them shortly before 10:00 pm, although an official tsunami alert had been issued in Jakarta.


An official responsible for the warnings blamed local authorities on the Mentawais for failing to pass on the alert, telling reporters: “We don’t feel there was any mistake.”


The Indonesian archipelago is studded with scores of active volcanoes and stretches from the Pacific to the Indian oceans, spanning several tectonic plates meeting on a so-called “ring of fire”.


According to the US Geological Survey, Monday’s earthquake was “the latest in a sequence of large ruptures along the Sunda megathrust” including the 2004 quake.

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Source: SGGP

Indonesia tsunami death toll tops 300

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 7:11 am

 The death toll from a tsunami which pummelled remote Indonesian islands soared to 311 on Thursday as questions mounted over whether an elaborate warning system had failed.


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was heading to the disaster zone, where fears were growing for hundreds still missing after a huge wave triggered by a powerful earthquake Monday hit the Mentawais off the west coast of Sumatra.


Hundreds of kilometres (miles) away, a mass funeral is being held for those killed when the nation’s most active volcano erupted, the second natural disaster to strike Indonesia in as many days.


Disaster response officials said bodies were being found on beaches and coastal areas in the Mentawai island chain, which took the full force of the tsunami as it washed away entire villages.


“Three hundred and eleven people were killed and 379 are still missing,” West Sumatra disaster management official Agus Prayitno said.


Indonesian officials pray over recovered bodies of tsunami victims in North Pagai island, one of the Mentawai islands, on October 27, 2010

A ship bearing aid including food, water, medical supplies as well as body bags arrived Thursday at Sikakap, on North Pagai island, one of the two worst-hit islands in the Mentawai group.


An AFP photographer on board said hundreds of villagers were being treated at a medical clinic, many requiring stitches to open cuts suffered as they were tossed around in the surging sea.


Survivors said they had almost no warning that the three-metre (10-foot) wall of water was bearing down on them, despite the laying of a sophisticated network of alarm buoys off the Sumatran coast.


As the magnitude of the disaster became clear, many were asking whether the expensive warning system — established after the 2004 Asian tsunami which killed at least 168,000 people in Indonesia alone — had failed.


An official tsunami warning was issued after the 7.7-magnitude quake but it either came too late or did not reach the communities in most danger.


One survivor, 32-year-old farmer Borinte, said the wave slammed into his community on North Pagai island only 10 minutes after residents had felt the quake.


“About 10 minutes after the quake we heard a loud, thunderous sound. We went outside and saw the wave coming. We tried to run away to higher ground but the wave was much quicker than us,” he told AFP on Wednesday.


He said he managed to stay alive by clasping to a piece of wood. His wife and three children were killed.


Medical personnel were arriving on helicopters but boats bearing aid have been hampered by bad weather around the islands, which are about half a day’s ferry ride away from the port of Padang on Sumatra.


Troops and naval personnel had been dispatched to the area. Indonesian western fleet commander Marsetio said at least five warships were on their way.


The United States and several of Indonesia’s neighbours have pledged help for a nation which often finds itself battling calamity, although Jakarta said it did not see a need for foreign assistance.


On the central island of Java, rescuers have pulled the bodies of at least 32 people from a tomb of fine grey ash after Mount Merapi erupted on Tuesday, including the elderly spiritual gatekeeper of the “Mountain of Fire”.


Officials said more than 50,000 people had fled to cramped temporary shelters around the nearby city of Yogyakarta, but there were fears for the fate of thousands more who had refused to budge.

The slopes of the mountain were an eerie wasteland on Thursday, with houses burnt and flattened, trees scorched and stripped of leaves and the stench of rotting bodies filling the air, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Soaring above the rice paddies of central Java, the 2,914-metre (9,616-foot) Mount Merapi is the most active of the 69 volcanoes with histories of eruptions in Indonesia. It last erupted in June 2006, killing two people.

Indonesia straddles a region where the meeting of continental plates causes high seismic activity. It has the world’s largest number of active volcanoes and is shaken by thousands of earthquakes every year.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake last year in Padang killed about 1,100 people, while the 2004 Asian tsunami — triggered by a 9.3-magnitude quake along the same faultline — killed at least 168,000 people in Indonesia alone.

Source: SGGP

137 dead as Indonesia hit by tsunami, volcano

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 5:34 am

JAKARTA (AFP) – At least 112 people were killed and hundreds remained missing in Indonesia after a tsunami triggered by a powerful earthquake smashed into a remote island chain, washing away entire villages.


Another 25 people have been killed after the eruption of the country’s most active volcano, as the force of nature was unleashed in an area known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.

Rescue officials evacuate a victim of the Merapi volcano at Kinahrejo village on October 26, 2010. AFP

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck late Monday in the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra generating waves as high as three metres (10 feet) that one official said had swept away 10 villages in one of the world’s top surfing spots.


“At least 112 people were killed and 502 people have gone missing,” West Sumatra disaster management head Harmensyah said Wednesday.


Less than 24 hours after the tsunami struck, Mount Merapi erupted on the island of Java, causing thousands to flee in panic as it spewed searing clouds of ash and claiming the lives of at least 25 people, including a baby.


“We heard three explosions around 6 pm (1100 GMT) spewing volcanic material as high as 1.5 kilometres (one mile) and sending heat clouds down the slopes,” government volcanologist Surono told AFP.


Indonesia sits on a “ring of fire”, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity. The archipelago is frequently struck by powerful earthquakes and has the world’s largest number of active volcanoes.


A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in September last year in Padang killed about 1,100 people while the 2004 Asian tsunami — triggered by a 9.3-magnitude quake off Sumatra — killed at least 168,000 people in Indonesia alone.


Health Ministry Crisis Centre head Mudjiharto said the Mentawai waves reached up to three metres high and waters swept as far as 600 metres inland on South Pagai island, the hardest hit.


Disaster Management Agency spokesman Agolo Suparto said 10 villages had been swept away.


Medical personnel were on their way to the worst-hit areas in helicopters but rescue efforts had been hampered by disruption to communications in the remote islands, which are about half a day’s ferry ride away from Padang.


Disaster Management Agency aid coordinator Wisnu Wijaya told AFP that rescue teams from the capital Jakarta would join forces with local teams to evacuate bodies and deliver food aid, medicines, tents and blankets.


A group of Australian tourists reported that their boat with 15 people aboard was destroyed by a “wall of white water” crashing into a bay after the undersea quake and said some had to cling to trees to survive.


Rick Hallet, an Australian who operates a boat-chartering business in Sumatra, said a huge wave picked up another boat in the bay which smashed into his vessel, triggering an explosion and fireball.


“The bay we were in was several hundred metres across and the wall of white water was from one side to the other, it was quite scary,” he told Fairfax Radio Network.


Another group of nine Australian surfers was alive and well after going missing following the quake and tsunami, officials said Wednesday.


Australia’s foreign department said the nine on board the Southern Cross tour boat had lost mobile signal but contacted relatives late Tuesday, adding that they were not even aware of the tsunami pummelling the western islands.


US President Barack Obama, who lived in Indonesia as a boy and is due to return there on an Asian tour next month, pledged US help.


“(First Lady) Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and damage that have occurred as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami in West Sumatra,” he said.


“As a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way.”


Hundreds of kilometres away from the tsunami disaster zone, thousands of people fled in panic after the eruption of Mount Merapi, some covered in white ash, as officials with loudhailers tried to help them escape the area.


Search and rescue official Taufiq from Yogyakarta city told reporters that 12 bodies had been found in and around the house of the spiritual “gatekeeper” of the mountain.


“There are likely to be more victims as the terrain is difficult, roads are damaged and trees uprooted, it’s dark and the condition of the volcano is still unstable,” he said late Tuesday.


A local hospital doctor also said a baby had died from inhaling volcanic material.


The toll was updated to 25 on Wednesday morning.


Authorities had put an area 10 kilometres around the crater of Mount Merapi on red alert Monday, ordering 19,000 people to flee.


Volcanologist Surono said the latest activity at the 2,914-metre (9,616-foot) Merapi, was bigger than an eruption in 2006, which killed two people.


Its deadliest eruption occurred in 1930 when more than 1,300 people were killed. Heat clouds from another eruption in 1994 killed more than 60 people.

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Source: SGGP

Vietnam, Indonesia host fine art exhibition

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

An exhibition showcasing 40 painting and sculpture works by 18 Indonesian and 17 Vietnamese artists opened at the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Hanoi on August 9.

A painting is displayed at the exhibition.

Titled “Inside and Outside”, the exhibition is a cooperative effort between VMFA and the Indonesian National Museum of Arts, aiming to promote the fine arts of the two nations, helping honour their outstanding cultural values and raising the awareness of Vietnamese and Indonesian art lovers.


The exhibition, which runs until August 18, is expected to lay a foundation for the cooperation and dialogue of mutual fine art development between Vietnam and Indonesia.

Source: SGGP