» 05/27/2006, 00.00
Java quake: rescue work tough; army mobilizes
The official death toll is over 2,700. Parishes are coming together to free those buried by the ruins. Bridges and roads are destroyed so it is difficult to reach the wounded to ferry them to hospital. Local medics are pleading for reinforcements from nearby areas.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) Rescue teams mobilized and aid campaigns were launched for the people of Indonesia as the official toll of quake victims reached 2,727. The earthquake struck the zone of Yogyakarta central Java, this morning.
The areas hardest hit are south of this ancient royal city: Bantul, with more than 2,000 dead, and Klaten, where the number of victims is feared to be over 500. Communications in the area remain difficult and there is no news about rural areas, although central Java is considered to be Indonesia's "most modern" area, with decent infrastructure.
Suseno, head of the rescue centre in Yogyakarta, said more than 2,938 homes collapsed after the quake. Witnesses said the complex of Buddhist temples of Borobudur, a popular destination for devotees and tourists, has remained intact. Evacuation is proceeding slowly because destroyed bridges and roads make it hard to reach stricken areas and to transport people to hospital. The head of the Indonesian army, General Djoko Suyanto, has ordered the setting up of a mobile clinic to help people. The army in Yogyakarta, besides, is involved in repairing channels of communication and Adisucipto international airport, essential for the delivery of aid and rescue. Four Hercules C-130 of the army will take food and medicine to the area. The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is also set to arrive in Yogyakarta.
Local doctors continue to call for reinforcements from nearby regions. The Health Ministry has told all hospitals in Java to respond to the emergency without hesitation. The governor of central Java, Mardiyanto, has said all patients will be treated free-of-charge.
Rescue teams are made up of experts and ordinary people: several stricken Catholic parishes are uniting their forces to free those still trapped under the debris.
The national media has launched a campaign to collect aid: money, food, blankets at the moment, there is an all out emergency.
Thousands killed and wounded in Java quake
The quake took place this morning around Yogyakarta, flattening houses and affecting thousands of people. The president has called out the army. Hospitals are already full to overflowing: doctors are being forced to operate outside. Mosques and churches are hosting displaced people.
Tragedy of Java quake survivors
Masses for victims are being held in parishes across central Java; many people from Jakarta are trying to reach relatives in quake-hit zones, desperately seeking rail or bus tickets. Survivors will spend the night out of doors, without electricity.
Fund raising and outdoor masses for Java Catholics
Despite the tragic situation, parishioners in the area destroyed by the quake went to mass to respond to the invitation of the pope to "pray for victims, their families and survivors". Functions were held outdoors for fear that more buildings may collapse.
Quake death toll rises
The death toll has surpassed 3,300; the number of injured is "unclear". The pope, "profoundly saddened to hear about the devastating quake", prayed for "victims and their families", and "invited rescuers to persevere in efforts to deliver relief and support". The Italian bishops will donate two million euros.
Indonesian Church: more than 100,000 dollars for Java quake survivors
The Crisis Centre of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, which has been on the frontline to offer aid, has declared the emergency phase is winding up in Yogyakarta region. The director has declared he is "proud of the response from different communities". More than 100,000 dollars were raised in Indonesia alone in just over 10 days.
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