Severe burns are amongst the Indonesian volcanic eruption injuries being treated in a hospital run by groups with ties to New Zealand’s Christian World Service (CWS).
CWS has launched an appeal for support for the Indonesian victims of the double dip disaster of volcanic eruptions from Mt Merapi and the Mentawai tsunami this week.
Christchurch based CWS is a member of the global faith based ACT Alliance group with 33,000 staff and volunteers working in 140 countries in aid and development projects.
One of the Indonesian partner groups, the Yakkum Emergency Unit (YEU) said that some admissions to their hospital had burns to 70 per cent of their bodies.
Mt Merapi erupted three times on October 26 forcing the mountains 11,000 inhabitants to flee the searing clouds of volcanic ash following on from lava flows the day before.
Volcanologists are also warning that Mt Merapi has more to come with more energy than before its June 2006 eruption.
Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country. It also sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the world’s most active areas for earthquakes and volcanoes.
YEU are also involved in setting up temporary shelters for refugees from the eruption in a training centre with toilets, water, food and health services as requested by village leaders.
Other ACT Alliance members Yayasan Tanggul Bencena di Indonesia and Church World Service are on standby for Merapi support although both are also gearing up to help with the aftermath of the Mentawai tsunami.
Another partner group spokesperson, Church World Service’s Reverend
Rugun Pakpahan said that at least six villages had been hit by the huge tsunami waves generated by the earthquake two days ago.
A 3 metre tsunami hit West Sumatra on 25 October after a 7.7 earthquake on the same fault line that caused the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Reverend Pakpahan said at least 645 families had been displaced while access to the Mentawai islands was hampered by strong winds and rough seas.
His group had handed out 140 baby care kits and is working with local people to identify on-going needs.
Donations to help partner groups provide food, water, and shelter can be sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8142 or 800 74 73 72, or online