Indonesian Church helps earthquake victims
Mumbai, India – Many Catholics are helping victims of the deadly earthquake in Indonesia, says the local bishop.
At least 310 people were killed in the earthquake that hit Cianjur district, west of Java Island.
According to the Associated Press, more than 1,400 rescuers have been searching through the rubble since the 5.6-magnitude quake, which injured more than 2,000 people.
Bishop Pascalis Bruno Siokur of Bogor, the diocese that includes the quake zone, described the situation as “terrible”.
“It makes people shocked. Many people’s homes have been damaged; landslide and many holes on the road that make up the road [unpassable]Crookes said.
The Catholic Church has responded to help the people there through Karina [Caritas Indonesia]. Many good people, Catholics, and families help the victims. “The spirit of solidarity is there,” said the bishop.
The National Disaster Management Agency said the quake destroyed at least 56,000 homes and displaced at least 36,000 people. Hundreds of public facilities, including 363 schools, were destroyed.
Mardi Yoana Catholic School, a K-12 facility, was damaged in the disaster.
“The school, which belongs to the Bogor Archdiocese Foundation, has thousands of pupils with at least 65 teachers and staff,” said Agus Supriyanto, a teacher who spoke to AsiaNews, which reported that a fundraising drive has already begun.
Ucanews.com reports that Caritas Indonesia is coordinating with teams from the Catholic charity in three dioceses – Bogor, Bandung and Jakarta – along with other Catholic organizations to provide assistance to victims across four provinces.
Coordination was under the control of the Caritas office in Bogor, Freddy Ranti Taruk, executive director of Caritas Indonesia, said.
The team went into the field to collect data and determine the response [required] of the Church Network,” he told ucanews.com.
Donny Akur, a worker with Caritas Indonesia, said ucanews.com volunteers and members of the Catholic Youth Service acted as first responders, and that Caritas Indonesia sent a team to a coordination meeting with the government on the rescue effort.
In addition, the Bogor diocese has also sent a team of doctors to coordinate with the government to provide emergency services. “There is a need now for medical, health and psychological services,” he told the news agency.
More than 2.5 million people live in the Cianjur district, including about 175,000 in its main town, of the same name.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has pledged to rebuild infrastructure and provide assistance of up to 50 million rupiah ($3,180) to each resident whose home was damaged.
Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the volcanic arc and fault lines in the Pacific basin known as the “Ring of Fire”.
This article incorporates material from the Associated Press.
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