|ShelterBox Reaches Remote Regions|
Poignant images from West Sumatra as Chiswick aid workers get supplies to survivors
Following the devastating 7.6 magnitude Indonesian earthquake of 12 days ago, ShelterBox continues to work in West Sumatra; getting aid to the thousands of villagers in the regions remotest areas where homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member, Shane Revill told ChiswickW4.com, "We have been delivering aid by road for the last week however many roads were badly damaged by the landslides which wiped out entire villages and the survivors in these hillside regions had received little aid to assist them and we had to find a way to reach those who most urgently required aid."
ShelterBox were offered rapid support by the US Navy who have ships based off the coast of Padang, the epicentre of the earthquake, and had undertaken aerial surveys of some of the most affected areas in a Naval Puma.
From the air the level of destruction was clearly visible and SRT members Andy Holland and Becky Maynard were able to fly with the Navy and identify the communities most in need.
Becky reported, "Once the assessment had been completed and a suitable helicopter landing site had been identified near the village of Hulu Banda, Agam region, north of Padang, the US Navy provided a CH53 aircraft to deliver 45 boxes – enough aid for 450 people – to the drop zone.
"This provided enough shelter to accommodate the most marginalised in the village where there were a number of elderly people and children who had been sheltering in what was left of their homes, exposing them to enormous risk from the rains which have the potential to completely collapse even semi destroyed houses."
She added, "We’d like to say a big thank you to the members of HMN 265 Squadron as well as Rear Admiral Richard B. Landolt who assisted with the delivery.
"Although we had seen huge amounts of destruction from the road, the site of the landslides, which had wiped out entire communities was tragic to see. Houses could be seen hanging from the edge of hillsides and more were smashed at the base of the landslide.
"We only hope that by providing this shelter we can bring some small hope to the survivors of this tragedy. ShelterBox is becoming a house-hold name throughout the Navy worldwide and to work with the US Navy has been tremendous. Our immense gratitude goes to all of the US Navy team who helped us to achieve this."
October 14, 2009