World Vision sends relief specialist to earthquake-hit Indonesia

World Vision has sent its Emergency Relief Specialist to west Java after an earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude hit the populous Indonesian region at 15:00 local time Wednesday 2nd September.

|PIC1|Latest reports indicate that thousands of buildings were destroyed, and more than 40 people have been confirmed dead. Rescue teams have already sprung into action and have been deployed across a wide area of West Java.

Aftershocks continued Thursday morning as locals in the majority-Muslim population shared their pre-dawn sahur meal, which is traditionally the last food before breaking their fast at sunset for Ramadan.

Ivan Tagor, World Vision’s Emergency Relief Specialist was immediately sent to Bandung and its southern area to assess the impact of the quake.

Mr. Tagor will work with local government officials to see if there is a need for humanitarian assistance.

Local media reports say the Ar Rahman mosque and a building at the local university in Tasikmalaya collapsed. Damage was also reported as far away as Bogor city, some 200 kilometres west of Tasikmalaya, when a store received slight damage.

World Vision's nearest programme is in outer Jakarta, approximately 200km from the epicentre.

When the earthquake struck World Vision's Communications Director, Katarina Hardono, was in Lembang, a 30-minute drive from the quake epicentre. She said: “We rushed out of the building we were in. The quake was very strong... we felt the tremor for probably as long as three minutes.”

Hardono said patients at the main hospitals in Bandung, the nearest major city centre to Lembang, also abandoned the buildings following the tremor. However, she did not see a lot of severe damage in Lembang and Bandung areas.

When asked about the situation at present, Hardono said: “Some people are still waiting around outside buildings, especially those who have evacuated higher ones. Others have gone back to what they were doing before. There doesn't seem to be significant damage here in Bandung.”