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Blocked roads and landslides hamper relief efforts to reach worst-hit children and families, Save the Children says.

Press Release   •   Jul 03, 2013 11:58 SGT

(3rd July 2013) Bener Meriah, Indonesia – Blocked roads and landslides have hampered relief efforts to reach the worst-hit children and their families, Save the Children says. The children’s aid agency has deployed a team from their Bener Meriah field office, close to the epicenter in Aceh province, to assess the destruction and needs of worst-hit families. 

So far, at least 25 people have been killed, including 7 children, with more fatalities expected as search and rescue efforts enter its second day. The number of severely affected in 6.1 magnitude temblor remains unknown, but the population in the worst-hit areas of central Aceh and Bener Meriah is estimated to be about 336,000 people.

“The earthquake happened just a couple of hours before sunset, making it hard for rescue workers to find many still stuck under the rubble. We are especially concerned about children in remote villages that have not been reached by rescue workers, as reports indicate that hundreds of homes have collapsed with entire villages flattened,” said Ricardo Caivano, country director for Save the Children in Indonesia.

“Save the Children has pre-made relief packages in our warehouses containing toiletries and other immediate essentials to maintain a good hygiene levels in evacuation centres. From our experience, families will also likely need clean water, medical supplies, sleeping mats and blankets. In the coming days, children will also need a safe space to play, talk through their experiences and resume classes.”

Save the Children has a field office and programs in the quake-hit area. The children’s aid agency’s field office team in Bener Meriah is assessing the situation and will launch a response with local partners to complement the government’s efforts. Save the Children has been working in Indonesia for 37 years, responding to all major disasters including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that struck Aceh.

ENDS

Save the Children has spokespeople in Indonesia. Please contact our communications and advocacy manager, Patricia Norimarna at +62 8121088705 patricia.norimarna@savethechildren.org


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