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Thursday, 09 December 2004

South East Asia is hit by a series of natural disasters

Uniting Church Overseas Aid is urgently seeking donations to assist a number of countries in South East Asia that have been hit by natural disasters in recent months.

Donations will be used to assist the work of our partner Churches to provide emergency support in disaster affected regions of the following countries.

  • Indonesia
  • West Papua
  • The Phillipines
  • How to send donations

(1) Earthquake hits Alor Island in Eastern Indonesia

At 4am on the 12 November 2004 an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter Scale hit the eastern Indonesian island of Alor. Around 17,000 buildings were damaged. Most of these where houses leaving 50,000 people homeless. Reports indicate that 34 people have died and there are approximately 300 people with major injuries. Living conditions are difficult with the onset of the wet season while hundreds of aftershocks have hit the island.

Our partner church in the region, the Evangelical Christian Church in Timor (GMIT) has formed a disaster response team and is distributing food and shelter to local congregations. Most of Alor Island are members of GMIT. The island is very mountainous and the only airfield on the island is out of action. Roads are cut due to landslides. Financial support can be sent to the GMIT Synod in Kupang through Uniting Church Overseas Aid

(2) Earthquake hits Nabire in West Papua

On Friday 26th November 2004 an earthquake registering 6.4 on the Richter Scale hit the town of Nabire in West Papua. This was the second earthquake to hit the town in the past nine months and at least 17 people have died and 180 people are injured. Over 300 buildings in the town have been damaged and Nabire's airport has been severely effected. Planes are not able to land. Some 89 aftershocks were experienced during the following day with a total of 368 aftershocks being measured since the earthquake (some aftershocks measuring up to 5.4 on the Richter Scale). People have been living outside because they fear their houses will collapse. Electricity and water supplies are out of action while bridges have been damaged and roads are cut.

Our partner church, the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua is preparing to provide emergency assistance in the area. Financial support can be sent to the GKI di Tanah Papua Synod in Jayapura through Uniting Church Overseas Aid.

(3) Typhoons hit Luzon, Philippines

Six hundred people are dead or missing in the eastern region of Luzon due to a series typhoons that have hit the region. Winds of up to 240 kph and heavy rain have swept away roads, bridges and villages. Mudslides together with huge logs that have been washed down from the mountains and are causing extensive damage. The town of Real (population 30,000) is isolated by floodwaters and many tens of thousands of people are affected in other areas.

Typhoon Nanmadol is now approaching Luzon with 185 kph winds. This will be the fourth storm to hit the region in a week. Uniting International Mission is contacting our church partner in the Philippines, the United Church of Christ (UCCP), to seek further information. It's highly likely that our church partner (UCCP) will be seeking support to provide emergency aid to the region. Financial support can be sent through Uniting Church Overseas Aid.

The above information on the current situation in these countries was current at December 2. For more detailed up to date information can be found via the world news section of the BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/

How to send donations

Please send donations to:

Uniting Church Overseas Aid
Donor Liaison Officer
PO Box A2266
Sydney South NSW 1235

Cheques should be made out to “Uniting Church Overseas Aid”

For receipt purposes please enclose a name and address with the donation.

Contact telephone number – 02 8267 4266

All donations to Uniting Church Overseas Aid are tax deductible