International Disaster Relief Update

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Salvation Army in Indonesia Provides Help to Volcano Evacuees

Salvation Army teams in Indonesia continue to help those affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Java. At least 138 people are known to have been killed and more than 200,000 evacuated.

It’s been a dangerous and difficult time for our workers and those of other NGO’s. A team from the Salvation Army’s William Booth Hospital in the city of Semarang originally responded to the first eruption during the end of October and set up operations only 8 km from Mt. Merapi. But after another, more violent eruption on November 3, they and everyone else in the area had to be evacuated immediately with no time to recover tents, supplies, or resources.

Our team is now working at a safer distance (approx. 36 km front the volcano) at Tlogoadi Village Elementary School assisting 692 displaced people, including 140 children.

The circumstances are difficult in their makeshift shelter – there’s a lack of nutritious food, clean water for drinking and bathing, and not enough toilets (10 for 692 people). But The Salvation Army is providing as much support as possible with medical care and nutrient-rich food such as noodles, sardines, eggs, milk, and porridge. Local women from Tlogoadi are helping cook.

The Salvation Army Emergency team will continue working in the area until the volcano settles and people are allowed to return home.

Salvation Army Responds as Tomas Storms Across the Caribbean

The Salvation Army across the Caribbean is responding to damage caused by Tropical Storm Tomas. Some countries like Haiti experienced overall minimal damage. For others, it was a much different story.

In Barbados, Salvation Army Major Dewhurst Jonas described it as “the worst storm to hit…since Hurricane Janet in 1955.” On the north side of the island many homes and businesses suffered significant damage, along with some Salvation Army properties. Most homes were left without water or power, and those of some Salvationists were destroyed completely.

In response, The Salvation Army quickly provided those affected with hot meals, shelter and basic necessities, for which the Barbados government expressed their deep appreciation.

In St Lucia, where 14 lives were lost in the storm, the Army is providing relief assistance in cooperation with NEMO, the government’s National Emergency Measures Organization, to offer counseling and some daily feeding programs.

A local Salvation Army leader reported widespread damage across the island including destroyed homes, fallen trees, downed utility lines, flooding, and landslides.

In St Vincent The Salvation Army is offering assistance as needed, Jamaica appears to have faced little damage, and Haiti seems to have fared well where one report describes it as ‘business as usual’.

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International Relief Efforts

Monday, September 13, 2010

With so much disaster response taking place right now, we wanted to provide you with a quick update on some of The Salvation Army’s international relief efforts:

PAKISTAN FLOODS

It’s reported that more than 10 percent of the Pakistan’s population has been affected by the flooding. The Salvation Army is working in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where they continue to pass out household items such as bedding and cooking utensils.

The Salvation Army is preparing to distribute nearly 5,000 tents to families in the south of the country. This will begin in the days following the end of the Muslim festival of Ramadan.

The relief effort is quickening pace as the needed supplies are becoming more available. Plans are in place to help more than 16,000 families in the next month. So far almost 2,000 families have received goods from Salvation Army teams.

To read the full report from our International Headquarters, click here.

[Pakistan floods.]
Major Drew Ruthven of International Emergency Services (with back to camera) hears the story of the flood and the impact on one woman’s family. The family house was under 16′ of water.

INDONESIA VOLCANO ERUPTION

Salvation Army personnel in Indonesia are providing emergency assistance to those made homeless by the eruption of Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra. About 29,000 people living in the shadow of the volcano were evacuated.

The local Salvation Army Compassion in Action (CIA) team is working in the town of Kabanjahe and distributed 400 mats and 150 blankets to evacuated villagers. Some assistance has been provided by the government and NGOs but more is required.

Some of the evacuees have already returned home to their villages, but those who live closer to the volcano will stay in emergency shelters until it is safe for them to return.

The Salvation Army Compassion In Action team plans to work in Kabanjahe for the next few weeks.

To read the full report from our International Headquarters, click here.

Salvation Army team members give mattresses and blankets to evacuees.

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Salvation Army Responding to Double Disaster in Guatemala

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SALVATION Army emergency response teams in Guatemala are providing assistance after the country was hit by two major disasters within 10 days.

A state of emergency was declared after the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano – about 15 miles south of the capital, Guatemala City. A television journalist was killed in the eruption and the international airport had to be closed. Some 1,600 people were evacuated from the slopes of the volcano and two to three inches of ash built up on streets in some southern parts of the capital.

Dots mark the path of Tropical Storm Agatha

While the country was struggling to deal with the aftermath of the eruption, Tropical Storm Agatha moved across central America, bringing devastation on a huge scale. Of the 150 people known to have been killed in the region, more than 120 were from Guatemala. These numbers may rise.

Some communities were cut off by floods and mudslides, and the ash clean-up operation was badly affected. At one point a Salvation Army team was stranded after a landslide blocked the roads to a community where it was providing assistance.

Almost 112,000 people were evacuated from their homes across Guatemala and around 30,000 had to seek temporary accommodation in emergency shelters.

The local authorities set up a campaign to provide support and The Salvation Army played its part, delivering coffee and warm meals. Salvation Army officers (church ministers) coordinated the response and other Salvationists worked as volunteers.

The first assistance provided by The Salvation Army was at San Vicente, in response to the volcanic eruption. The number of people seeking help increased because of the storm and support is being given at shelters in Tierra Nueva.

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