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Indonesia begins immunizations in earthquake zone BANYSOCO - Hundreds of women cradling babies and holding the hands of children lined up Wednesday as Indonesia kicked off a massive campaign to immunize more than 1.5 million people against disease following last month's deadly earthquake. “We are racing against time,” said Gandung Hermanto, head of the surveillance division at the health department in Bantul, the district hardest hit by the May 27 quake that turned ramshackle homes into piles of bricks and rubble in less than a minute.

Just north of the earthquake zone, meanwhile, about 11,000 villagers were evacuated from their homes as the Mount Merapi volcano continued to shoot out lava and superheated clouds of gas, authorities said Tuesday. Merapi's lava dome has swelled in recent weeks, raising fears that it could suddenly collapse and send scalding clouds of fast-moving gas and debris into populated areas. Some scientists say the quake may have contributed to the volcano's increased activity.

Health experts are concerned that with so many people displaced by the temblor – hundreds of thousands of whom are living in makeshift shelters with no toilets or running water – the threat of disease is high. They hope to immunize 323,000 children and 1.24 million women and men over the next five days. Children under 5 would get shots to ward off measles and adults booster doses of tetanus vaccine.

Tetanus is an infection that usually originates from a contaminated wound, often a cut or deep puncture wound. It is fatal in more than 30 percent of cases, with even higher rates in the developing world. Harsaran Pandey, a World Health Organization spokeswoman, said at least nine cases of tetanus have been reported so far, including one suspected death.

As a woman grimaced in pain while a large cut was stitched up at a U.S. military field hospital, Lt. Eric Tausche said many victims suffered injuries that could easily lead to tetanus. “It's a great concern anytime anyone comes here with an open wound,” he said. “We've seen lots of compound fractures and soft-tissue damage. Everyone here with such an injury gets a tetanus shot.”

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake in central Java island killed at least 5,800 people and injured more than 36,000, while leaving more than 130,000 homes damaged or destroyed, the government said. More than 20 countries have contributed aid and personnel to the quake recovery effort. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said $5.6 million is needed to help at least 100,000 farming families who had lost their livelihoods – part of a broader U.N. appeal for $103 million for quake relief over the next six months.

The FAO said the farmers need seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment to resume work. The money would also be used to replace livestock and repair damaged irrigation systems, but the FAO said harvesting still could be delayed and some crops completely lost. Some 200 trucks, each loaded with more than four tons of rice destined for the disaster zone, left the city square in the ancient royal capital of Yogyakarta earlier this week. Vice President Jusuf Kalla promised 22 pounds of rice per person each month until survivors' houses are rebuilt.


Link to related event Related event:
Java shaken by quake

Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake') Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake'):
05 June 2006 · Sanitary conditions worsen in quake-hit area
04 June 2006 · China delivers more aid to quake-hit Indonesia
04 June 2006 · Java quake toll soars as hospitals strained
03 June 2006 · Gov't to set up 5,000 tents for emergency classes
03 June 2006 · Agency: 'Quake survivors at risk from bird flu'


Posted in Earthquake @ 07 June 2006 07:20 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

indahnesia.com lists all earthquakes that occur in Indonesia. For your convenience we display them in a list and a Google Map. It is as accurate and recent as you can imagine as we check for updates every few minutes. If an earthquake occurs in Indonesia, this is the place to check it out in the first place.






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