SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will commit S$50,000 to support disaster response efforts in Aceh, which was struck by a deadly 6.5-magnitude quake on Wednesday morning.
In a media release on Thursday (Dec 8), SRC said the funds will support the work of the Indonesian Red Cross or Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI), in providing excavation and debris clearance equipment as well as medical and relief supplies which include blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, food packs, water purification equipment and two 5,000-litre water tanks.
A two-man team well-equipped with disaster management skills as well as expertise in water and sanitation is on standby to be deployed, it added.
More than 100 people have been killed in the quake which hit Pidie Jaya district. The sole hospital there was quickly overwhelmed, with patients treated on the grass out front or sent to neighbouring districts with better facilities.
An estimated 4,000 people have been evacuated to shelters, said local disaster agency chief Puteh Manaf, adding that they are in need of food, clean water, medication and blankets.
SRC and its Indonesian counterpart have been working closely on disaster response and recovery efforts since the Asian tsunami in 2004 that wiped out entire communities in Indonesia and other countries around the Indian Ocean.
“We are deeply saddened to see the devastation caused by the disaster," said Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and CEO of the Singapore Red Cross, adding that SRC's priority is to "support our Indonesian colleagues in having sufficient funds and resources to rescue, evacuate, and care for as many people as possible.
"The Singapore Red Cross will remain in close contact with the Indonesian Red Cross to assess the extent of the damage and needs, and provide further support where needed.”