Twin disasters Hits Indonesia

2 Dec


INDONESIA – 2010 is definitely not a good year for Indonesia. Tsunami hit the shores of Sumatra, barely a day after Mount Merapi erupted in Central Java.

The volatile volcano erupted several times, leaving the Argomulyo village in Yogyakarta covered in fire and thick ashes. Rescue teams haul away more than 100 bodies and thousands of injured victims. At present, almost 75,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes. 

Map of Indonesia


Meanwhile, almost 800 miles to the west, rescue teams search for survivors of the Tsunami aftermath. A 3 meter high Tsunami swallowed the Mentawai Islands. 113 deaths have been reported, while almost hundreds have gone missing.

Deadly disaster from the center of Earth

Located at the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, Indonesia is prone to getting quakes, volcanic eruptions and Tsunamis. A 7.7 Magnitude undersea quake has led to the consecutive happenings of the twin disaster.

Surono, volcanologist, commented that by far this eruption has been the biggest coming from Mount Merapi. “The heatclouds went down the slopes as far as 13km, and explosion was heard as far as 20 kilometers away.”

Lightning strikes when Mount Merapi erupts, a view from Mangelang, Central Java Province.

Molten lava flows from the crater of Mouth Merapi, a view from Klaten district, Central Java Province.

As for the Tsunami, Hawaiian oceanographer David Walsh commented, “The center issued a “local tsunami watch” seven minutes after the earthquake occurred.” However, the warning was canceled when they found out that a “destructive widespread threat” did not exist.

Indonesian Government stepping in

Rescue teams have been dispatched to both infected areas in search for survivors. Dead bodies covered in ashes were buried in a mass burial. A representative of the rescue team even commented that they found three bodies – a father, mother and son – lying in a burnt house and suspected they are asleep when the eruption occurred.

Villagers at the grave of mass burial at Sleman,Yogyakarta.

Authorities believe that villagers residing at the shore have been swept into the sea during the Tsunami attack. Regardless, the rescue teams are still in search of both the dead and alive.

International aid for casualties

Up to a million residents have been evacuated and placed in temporary shelters. Refugees of the Mount Merapi disaster have been placed in the Maguwoharjo Stadium, a football stadium situated in the suburbs of Yogyakarta.

22,000 victims ate and slept in the stadium, where instant food, clean water, medical supplies and clothes are readily available. Donations from the globe reached them, in hope to aid them from overcoming the trauma. Kids attended classes as usual, as school damaged in the disaster held classes in stadium.

A woman prays at temporary shelter, Maguwoharjo Stadium, Yogyakarta

News source: BBC News, New York Times; Image source: The Big Picture

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