Desperately-needed aid flowed into a stretch of Indonesia's tsunami-struck coastline yesterday, but humanitarian workers warned that clean water and medicine supplies were dwindling as thousands crammed makeshift evacuation centers. A Turkish aid group yesterday dispatched aid for 7,500 victims in tsunami-hit Indonesia.
The Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said in a statement that shelter supplies, food aid, and personal care packages are being distributed in the tsunami-hit region. Fears about a public health crisis come as the death toll from Saturday's volcano-triggered disaster topped 400 with thousands more displaced, many left homeless after houses were flattened by the killer wave.
"A lot of the children are sick with fevers, headaches and they haven't had enough water," said Rizal Alimin, a doctor working for NGO Aksi Cepat Tanggap, at a local school that was turned into a temporary shelter. "We have less medicine than usual ... It's not healthy here for evacuees. There isn't enough clean water. They need food and people are sleeping on the floor."
The powerful tsunami struck at night and without warning, sweeping over popular beaches on southern Sumatra and the western edge of Java and inundating tourist hotels and coastal settlements. The latest death toll stood at 429, with 1,485 people injured and another 154 missing. Experts have warned that more deadly waves could slam the stricken region now covered by mountains of overturned cars, boats, furniture and other debris. Many evacuees are too afraid to return home, fearing another tsunami.