Relief en route for Indonesian quake victims

Pakistan has sent 30 mt of relief items for the survivors of Saturday’s earthquake on Indonesia’s Java island, where over 5,000 people have been confirmed died, thousands injured and an estimated 200,000 left homeless, according to the BBC.

“The relief consignment from Pakistan includes tents, blankets, medicines and food items,” Muhammad Naeem, an officer with the national Emergency Relief Cell in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, told IRIN on Monday.

Meanwhile, a major relief operation has swung into action, with teams from across the country and abroad arriving in the disaster zone.

But conditions continue to worsen for survivors after heavy rain on Sunday night compounded the misery caused by power blackouts in the area after the quake. Many are facing spending a third night out in the open under tarpaulins.

Around 20,000 people are said to have been injured according to the Indonesian government, putting acute pressure on local health services. Hospitals and medical staff remain overwhelmed as patients continued to stream in, although the setting up of field clinics is helping to relieve some of the pressure on hospitals.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake, which measured 6.2 on the Richter scale, hit at 0554 local time, around 25 km south of the city of Yogyakarta - Indonesia's ancient royal capital and one of its biggest cities.

The quake flattened buildings in densely populated areas of Java Island, including the city of Yogyakarta, where infrastructure is said to be better than most places in the country.

Meanwhile, UN aid agencies, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross, have already begun distributing some relief supplies but say much more will be needed.

The quake was Indonesia's third major disaster in 18 months, following the 2004 Asian tsunami catastrophe that killed 168,000 in Sumatra and another quake that killed more than 600 people in Nias in March last year.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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