Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia


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Information from Indonesia
about the Tsunami

From: "Idjcc" <idjcc@telkom.net>
To: "Superior General SVD" <svd.supgen@verbodivino.it>
Cc: "Niels B. Johansen" <svd.communications@verbodivino.it>
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 3:13 AM
Subject: Asian Disaster / Information - Relief

Dear Fr. Pernia,

his morning, I have successfully gained contact with a Fransiscan father, Fr. Yohanes, in Gunungsitoli, Nias Island. He said that our confreres in Nias Island are ok. Our mission station there suffered very minor damage.

The most affected areas are in the west of the island, while our confreres are on the east coast. Our mission stations in Medan and South East Aceh are also in the same situation. They are all fine. We cannot contact our confreres directly as there is no phone line.

I have a phone conversation with Fr. Payong of Medan recently. He pictured very little the situation in Aceh and west coast of Sumatera. The most damaged areas are in the district capital, Banda Aceh, and all small towns and villages along the west coast. Official statement released last night predicted the number of victim has raised up to more than 12,000 people. All communication infrastructures are severely damaged. It makes us difficult to gain proper information.

Our confrere, Fr. Joseph Due is appointed by the Archbishop of Medan to organize the help. Yesterday they had a meeting to set up the secretariate and now look for volunteers. However, the Archdiocese office I have contacted has very little information too. All they can do now is collecting food, clothes, medicines and others, ready to be transported to victims once they are able to do so, as many roads to access the place were destroyed. Many areas in west coast of Sumatera cannot be accessed unless by helicopters. So, if our benefactors ask how their donation will reach the victims, it will be distributed by the Archdiocese of Medan crisis centre which is organized by our confrere.

From national television we realized that that the disaster is worse than Flores 12 years ago. In Surabaya, our parishioners are keen to do something for people in Aceh. Our confreres in parishes are very much in favor of this emergency help. The rest of us will support them with what we can do. Let us pray for the victims.

Dear Father Pernia,
That's if for now. I will be back with more information once I gain it.

Fraternally in the Divine Word.

Aurelius
For IDJ Provincial Superior