An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale struck near the city of Padang on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on 30th September 2009, claiming 807 lives, injuring thousands and leaving many more trapped under the rubble.
The Sumatra earthquake occurred hours after a tsunami triggered by a separate quake in the South Pacific, killing more than 100 people in Somoa, American Samoa and Tonga.
Islamic Relief’s emergency relief operation is now well underway, providing urgent aid to those affected by the disaster.
More than 200,000 houses in Padang have been destroyed or damaged and there are still people who are in urgent need of emergency shelter. In one village that Islamic Relief’s aid workers visited, 94 per cent of all homes had been destroyed.
In addition, schools offices, bridges and roads have been destroyed, hampering the delivery of aid. Debris and rubble still needs to be cleared away while some of the most remote villages are only accessible by helicopter.
Clean, safe water is urgently needed in remote communities to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. Water systems including some of those built by Islamic Relief are not working because of a lack of electricity needed to operate the pumps.
In one village that Islamic Relief assessed, three-quarters of households were reliant on collecting rainwater and the majority had no access to sanitation facilities, leaving them vulnerable to serious disease.
While most people are now receiving emergency food aid, food parcels are still needed in some of the most remote areas.
There is still a vast need for temporary schools and education equipment to allow children to continue their education. This is important in helping traumatised young people overcome their tragic experiences.