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Floods force more than 50,000 from homes in Aceh WESTPORT (UNITED STATES) - Save the Children is moving quickly to provide food, water, medicines, blankets, household supplies, and temporary shelter to thousands of families forced to flee their homes due to torrential rains that have flooded villages in Aceh province and North Sumatra, Indonesia. The severe floods are the latest catastrophe to befall children and families in a region of Indonesia devastated by the tsunami of December 26, 2004, one of worst natural disasters in modern history.

At least 13 people were reported killed and 14 others missing after heavy rains swept the northern tip of Sumatra, the largest of a chain of islands that make up Indonesia. Save the Children staff, strategically located throughout Aceh province and northern Sumatra, launched an immediate response to the disaster on Friday and reported that more than 50,000 people have fled their homes for higher ground.

Areas hardest hit include Aceh Utara and Aceh Tamian and Langkat in northern Sumatra. Staff reported that many roads were flooded, including the main road connecting Medan, Sumatra's largest city, to Lhokseumawe. Agency staff are working with UNICEF and other aid agencies in coordinating an airlift of supplies to displaced families. An emergency team flew out Saturday to assess the damage.

Save the Children, which has assisted children and families in northern Sumatra for more than 30 years, currently has operations in many areas of the region including Banda Aceh, Medan, Lhokeseumawi and Langkat. In the next several weeks, the agency will focus its efforts on meeting basic needs of displaced families while also working to help children cope with the disaster.

"We are coordinating with government officials, community leaders and local partners to assist displaced families and children in need," said Rudy Von Bernuth, who heads Save the Children's international response efforts. "We already have contacted the World Food Program to help coordinate the distribution of rice, water, noodles, biscuits and other food items."

"Many families affected by the floods lost loved ones and livelihoods due to the tsunami of two years ago," Von Bernuth added. "We want to do all we can to help children and families recover from this latest disaster."

(press release)


Related blog entries (category 'Flooding') Related blog entries (category 'Flooding'):
24 December 2006 · Floods leave over 80 dead in Sumatra
24 December 2006 · Floods kill more than 70 on Sumatra island


Posted in Flooding @ 25 December 2006 03:47 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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