Saturday, May 27, 2006


People fleeing for safety in fear of a tsunami

Injured people being given medical help on the street

Massive damages to Buildings

Another ruined building

Rubbles are everywhere for collapsed structures

Rescuers are hunting for survivors of a powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia on Saturday, killing at least 3,000 people AND THE FIGURE IS STEADILY RISING AS MORE BODIES ARE UNCOVERED.. The epicenter of the 6.2-magnitude temblor was near the erupting Mount Merapi and scientists say the quake could affect volcanic activity.
Extensive damages to buildings in the quake areas. Airport is closed and telecomminication is out and so is the electricity supplies to the immediate affected areas.

An earthquake shook the area around Indonesia's ancient royal city of Yogyakarta on Saturday .government and hospital officials said earlier that many people remained buried or trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, while more deaths might be going unreported by families keeping and burying the bodies themselves.

Yogyakarta is on Indonesia's main island of Java and near Mount Merapi, a volcano that has been on top alert for a major eruption this month. A vulcanologist in Yogyakarta said the quake was not caused by the volcano, but Merapi's activity increased after the shock.

KUALA LUMPUR: May 27 06: Meanwhile the DPM Najib announced that Malaysia is sending a search and rescue team – the smart team comprising of 56 search personal and 5 doctors & paramedics (from KL Hospital & Army) to the disaster area for immediate aid. This is in direct response to the call for help by the Indonesian authorities. The team is leaving at 11 pm on a RMAF Hercules plane to Jogyakarta. One ton of medical supplies and rescue equipment would be flown over.

In view of the seriousness of the situation, the DPM announced a further smart team of 250 personnel would be send over tomorrow (28th May 06) morning. En Rosli Sakimin, the Malaysian Educational Attaché in Indonesia reported so far that no Malaysia students are injured.

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appealed “I call on all regional officials to bring out their resources in order to priorities the evacuation of the injured and the handling of the bodies.

The following is a more detailed account from channenewsasia

More than 2,700 dead, thousands injured in Indonesia quake
Posted: 27 May 2006 1803 hrs

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia : A powerful earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island
of Java on Saturday, killing more than 2,700 people, injuring thousands more
and causing mass destruction.

Thousands of families fled their homes in panic after the 6.2 magnitude
quake struck early in the morning, many running for higher ground amid false
rumours of a tsunami like the one that devastated the country in December

Many could not escape in time and were buried under the rubble of collapsed
buildings or struck by flying rocks and debris as the quake devastated towns
and villages across the south of the island.

Hospitals in the densely-populated ancient city of Yogyakarta, located in
the shadow of the simmering Mount Merapi volcano, were overflowing with
casualties. Hundreds lay injured outside awaiting medical attention.

An official at the social affairs ministry's disaster relief center told AFP
at least 2,727 fatalities had been reported in Yogyakarta and Central Java

Emergency rescue and medical crews rushed to the worst-hit areas as
officials said the death toll may rise.

Aid agencies were sending tents and food to the area to help those left
homeless, while an appeal for blood donors was launched.

The quake struck just before 6:00 am local time around 40 kilometres (25
miles) south of the city, rattling a region that had been on edge for weeks
amid fears the lava-spewing Mount Merapi would erupt.

One of the worst hit areas was the Bantul district south of Yogyakarta which
was flattened.

"There is only one house remaining standing here, that of the head of the
hamlet, but even that is not safe anymore as the walls are cracked," said
Ngadiyo, 63, crouching in front of the rubble of his house in central

"I have never gone through an earthquake this strong during my entire life,"
said his elder brother, Jodi Riwono, 46, who was trapped unconscious under
rubble before being rescued by a grandson.

"I thank God that I am allowed more time to live," he said.

Purkasih, an elderly women, pleaded with passers-by to help look for her
older sister Duljiah, who was trapped in a collapsed kitchen.

"Elder sister, elder sister," Purkasih wept as a dozen young men, some with
open wounds, dug at the rubble. Seven hours after the quake they pulled out
her body.

"Even us, healthy men, could not see if we could run, because of the dust
raised by the falling houses," said Bakit, 18, a high school student, the
left side of his face badly bruised and swollen.

"I was thrown by the quake and could only crawl out as everything was
falling around me," he said.

Heru Nugroho, spokesman for the state-run Sardjito hospital in Yogyakarta,
around 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of the capital Jakarta, told AFP
1,500 victims were being treated at the hospital, many of them in the

People of all ages with broken arms and legs and bruised faces lay out on
tiled floors covered in blood waiting for attention. Bodies were covered
with bedsheets.

The quake also forced the closure of Adisucipto airport in Yogyakarta,
Detikcom news portal said. The airport was badly damaged, with the roof of
an airport section collapsing and at least one person trapped, Metro TV

Flights have been diverted to the nearby city of Solo.

Meteorologists said the quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale, but both US
and Hong Kong monitors registered it at 6.2. Seismologists said the quake
would not increase the likelihood of an eruption at Merapi.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered Health Minister Siti Fadillah
Supari and Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah to travel to Yogyakarta
immediately to oversee rescue efforts.

"The president is deeply concerned," presidential spokesman Andi Malarangeng
told a press conference.

Malarangeng said that the president also ordered military chief Air Marshal
Djoko Suyanto to send in troops to help evacuate victims.

Yudhoyono himself was to visit the region on Sunday, he said.

Yogyakarta province police chief Bambang Hari Sampurnojati told local radio
that the earthquake was reportedly followed by tidal waves, striking panic
in a nation that was the worst hit by the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami.

"We panicked when we heard that there was a tsunami. We were ready to flee,"
Yogyakarta resident Clemon Cilik told the state Antara news agency.

More than 20,000 residents living near Mount Merapi, which has been spewing
heat clouds and on top alert for a major eruption, are already staying in
emergency shelters after being evacuated from the slopes.

Damage was hampering the rescue effort, Sampurnojati said, with electricity
at the police headquarters in the city cut due to a blackout following the

"Electricity is out and communication is difficult," he told ElShinta.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of
continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

An official at the meteorological office said the quake was not related to
the volcano, which has been rumbling in recent weeks. - AFP /dt


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