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Indonesia - Earthquake and Tsunami: OCHA Field Situation Report Update No. 15

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Date: 10 Jan 2005

Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (Aceh) and North Sumatra

This report is developed by the OCHA Office in Indonesia and based on information provided by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team in Aceh, Department of Social Affairs, Department of Health, Bakornas (National Coordination Board for Disaster Management), donor countries, the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC), United Nations (UN) agencies, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the media.


1. The Department of Social Affairs (10-01-05) revised the number of victims in Aceh and North Sumatra from 113,306 persons (as reported yesterday 09/01/05) to 104,055 persons. 10,088 persons are reportedly missing and 655,144 of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are living in the temporary shelters and camps.

2. Health: UNDAC team in Aceh reported (09/01/05) that World Health Organization (WHO) and related agencies have started an early warning system for diseases surveillance and outbreak control. Tetanus toxoid and serum for prevention of tetanus has been distributed to hospitals and selected mobile clinics. It is also reported that the development of measles outbreak control plan is in progress. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has received one confirmed measles case in Banda Aceh. There have been some detected cases of diarrhoea among IDPs, but no evidence of cholera.

3. Child Protection: A coordination group on child protection has been set up between governmental institutions, NGOs and UN agencies. The group has developed three task forces focusing on psychological assistance, family reunification and tracing for children. UNICEF is assigned to take the lead. The Government of Indonesia (GoI) issued a presidential decree to ban any form of adoption of Acehnese children during the emergency period; the decree also focuses on family reunification. UNICEF reported (09/01/05) that the Department of Social Affairs is investigating temporary shelter to house children that are without surviving parents.

4. Food and non food items: The distribution of 335 MT of rice as well as noodles and high energy biscuits within Aceh Besar and Banda Aceh region had been completed in the past two days. Canned fish and oil are currently in the pipeline and planned to be distributed early next week. About 72,183 IDPs have presently received food aid out of the identified total 110,000 beneficiaries for Aceh Besar and Banda Aceh regions. World Food Program (WFP) provided 15 MT of rice through USAID for distribution to the West Coast by US Navy helicopters.

5. Education: UNICEF reported that the first school to re-open in Banda Aceh will start on Monday (10/01/05) using one of the intact school buildings. Double-shifts will be undertaken with IDP children being taught during afternoon session. According to Yappika (09/01/05), some schools in Meulaboh have started their learning activities though with extremely limited resources. The UNICEF education team in Banda Aceh is working closely with the local ministry officials to develop a strategic plan for the sites where schools can be reopen including a phased distribution and establishment of teaching -learning facilities and materials.

6. Shelter: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has shelter material for approx. 100,000 IDPs. The items are ready to be utilized in temporary settlements around Banda Aceh. UNHCR is currently assisting The Department of Public Works in housing planning based on the international humanitarian standards (the "Sphere Standards").

7. Security: The situation in Aceh remains unstable. According to media, on Saturday (08/01/05) suspected rebels fired shots at the residence of a top police officer near the UN's relief headquarter in Banda Aceh. One soldier was killed and another wounded in the leg. It is also reported that members of Free Aceh Movement (GAM) were infiltrating refugee camps in order to collect taxes and steal aid supplies. In response to the current situation, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated (09/01/05) that the government of Indonesia was open to peace with GAM in an effort to end the Aceh conflict. In addition, he mentioned that the ongoing relief operation could be used to foster a spirit of solidarity to encourage the rebels to return to the fold of Indonesia.

8. Logistics: please visit the UNJLC website: for further information

Air: Banda Aceh and Medan airports are still congested but air schedules are becoming smoother, more centralized and efficient. The frequency of air flights has increased with 10 flights per day. The United States Air Force (USAF) has four C-130s assigned to the Halim airport in making daily supply lifts to Banda Aceh. The operation has been running since 01/01/05. According to media, on Monday (10/01/05) A US military aircraft had an accident at 07.20 a.m local time. The aircraft fell apart at approx. 100 metres from Sultan Iskandar Muda airport. No casualties reported.

Sea: A ferry will arrive in Banda Aceh in a couple of days, serving the shore with smaller boats as the port is still not serviceable. A ferry will also serve Simeule island and other small surrounding islands. A ship/barge will anchor opposite Meulaboh and function as floating storage.

Road: Yapika reported (09/01/05) that the route Medan-Subulusalam-Singkil-Bakongan-Blang Pidie-Meulaboh has been currently cut off due heavy torrential rain. Fuel provision is also limited along this area, therefore air workers are recommended to bring along their own provision.

Electricity: Indonesian Electric Company (PLN) has transported several drums of fuel to operate the generators at the costal town of Lamno. There is no electricity in Calang due to lack of generators. About 200 individual generators are already operating in Meulaboh. Cables and light bulbs are still required.

The Vice President has instructed to clean up Banda Aceh and Meulaboh within a month. The Department of Public Works currently has approx. 500 heavy machineries and has divided Banda Aceh into 5 zones.

Communication: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Indonesia reported (08/01/05) that phone system (cdma system) in Meulaboh has been established.


1. The Bogor Institute of Agriculture proposed (09/01/05) a concept to rehabilitate and reconstruct coastal area of Aceh province combining urban planning with agriculture. The concept will be ready within three months.

2. The Padang mayoralty will send 200,000 sacks of cement to Aceh and North Sumatra for house refurbishment. Each household in Padang has committed to contribute at least one sack of cement.


1. The Government of New Zealand deployed 30 members of the Defence Force Light medical Team in Banda Aceh. Five Defence Force staffs have also been deployed to Medan to work in the Task force Headquarters, which is charged with coordinating Australian and New Zealand military units involved in the relief efforts in Aceh.

2. The Government of Saudi Arabia dispatched second batch of Saudi Arabia's relief aid for Aceh and North Sumatra. The aid arrived in Batam's Hang Nadim Airport on Sunday (09/01/05) and will to be transported by Indonesian Navy ships.

3. UNICEF has ordered 1 million sachets of ORS and is coordinating with Helen Keller International to give zinc to patients with diarrhoea. UNICEF is also coordinating with WFP and CDC in nutrition assessment and oversight of nutrition needs for IDPs. During the coming week UNICEF will set up school in Banda Aceh through provision of school-in-a-box, recreation kits and tents/classrooms. The Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Education in Banda Aceh has currently established a warehouse where the bulky school-in-a-box kits can be temporarily stored before being distributed to the school and IDPs camps.

4. WFP announced (09/01/05) its new Humanitarian Air Hub at the Subang Air Base in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in partnership with the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The new hub is dedicated to serving UN and other aid groups shipping relief supplies into Indonesia as well as other countries affected by the December 26 earthquake and tsunami. The Air Hub went operational when two Malaysian military C-130 airplanes left for Banda Aceh airport carrying 32 tons of fortified biscuits, the first instalment of a 700-ton consignment. The Air Hub will be managed jointly by WFP, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC).

5. WHO is working to establish an appropriate logistics chain from Jakarta to the field. Various UN agencies are collaborating on this. This effort is taken in response to the current bottleneck of humanitarian relief supplies and donations arriving in Jakarta which cannot be transported by air to Aceh province. The Government of France has already dispatched two ships, a helicopter and a frigate to aid the relief effort in Indonesia.

6. JRS decided (09/01/05) to send 20 volunteers from Tempo Magazine group and Environmental group to the West Cost of Aceh Java Regency, which is located between Banda Aceh and Meulaboh.

7. SurfAid International has sent an emergency assessment medical team to isolated villages at North Western of Nias Island. The team has encountered pre-existing cases of acute and chronic malaria as well as anaemia in that affected area. SurfAid is also currently working with the local government to arrange emergency malaria prevention and measles immunization for children.

8. World Vision Canada and U.S sent 125 MT of relief supplies. The aid arrived in Jakarta on Thursday and Friday (06/01/05 and 07/01/05) using Airbus AC340 passenger plane. Another Gemini MD11 Cargo flight loading 80 MT of relief supplies arrived on Friday (07/01/05).

IV. Assistance required

1. According to the Department of Health (10/01/05), the following is needed: oxygen, food for infants, medical teams and supplies, gloves, body bags and setting up a health post in Calang coastal area near Meulaboh.

For detailed information please contact:

Michael Elmquist
Chief, OCHA Indonesia
Tel. 62 21 314 1308
Fax. 62 21 319 00 003
Mobile 62 811 996 594

Syalomi Natalia
Emergency Response Officer
Tel. 62 21 314 1308
Fax. 62 21 319 00 003
Mobile 62 812 100 2065

Yasuko Sawada
Donor and NGO Relations Officer
Tel: 62 21 314 1308 ext. 162
Fax: 62 21 319 00 003
Mobile: 62 811 906 948

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