A powerful tsunami struck the remote Mentawai islands of Indonesia on October 25; less than 24 hours later, a volcano on the densely populated island of Java triggered a second disaster.
Oxfam and its local Indonesian partners quickly deployed assessment teams to determine the needs in the two areas.
Since the last major eruption of Mt. Merapi in 2006, Oxfam and its partners have worked with government and community groups to help those living near the mountain prepare for emergencies like this one, establishing radio networks and carrying out evacuation drills.
“Oxfam will be working closely with the Indonesian authorities, the Red Cross, and other NGOs,” says Sebastien Fesneau, Oxfam’s humanitarian program manager in Indonesia, “to ensure that we are able to provide more help quickly if needed.”
On the tsunami-affected islands, says Fesneau, "our initial assessment has so far shown that the Indonesian government and local authorities are well prepared and should be able to handle the current situation.”
However, the Oxfam assessments are still underway, and we are poised to begin distribution of emergency supplies if needed.