JAKARTA, Indonesia (February 3, 2014) — One of Indonesia's deadliest volcanos in recent history, Mt. Sinabung, erupted Saturday, killing at least 14 people, including a local television journalist and several high school students traveling to the region to provide emergency care to families evacuated over the past few months following the volcano's previous eruptions. However, this weekend's disaster followed two other recent disasters in Indonesia — flooding in Jakarta and Sulawesi — making it difficult for humanitarian agencies like World Vision to scale up their relief efforts.
"It's been quite difficult to reach everyone and respond to everything simultaneously," said Billy Sumuan, Emergency Response director for World Vision in Indonesia. "We are doing the best we can, but our staff and our resources are stretched to their maximum capacity right now."
Despite the challenges, the aid agency has staff on the ground near the volcano and has connected with a local church and local Islamic evacuation center to provide relief, including:
- Setting up 13 Women and Young Child-Friendly Spaces (WYCFS PDF) in the evacuation centers throughout the region. WYCFS offer safe spaces for women and children after a disaster.
- Distributing 350 children's hygiene kits with items like soap, blankets, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and baby oil. Each kit has two of each item and lasts for approximately one month.
In addition, World Vision has provided more than 650 children's hygiene kits to flood survivors in Jakarta and Sulawesi and may also distribute cleaning supplies to families once the flood waters recede. The humanitarian organization also plans to set up Child-Friendly Spaces in the flood zone.
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Note to Editors: Interviews are available with World Vision's staff in Jakarta, and photos from Saturday's eruption are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n0gkjygal0pdpgv/CrVaTxdamd (please credit "World Vision" if you use them).