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Cablegate: West Sumatra Earthquake: Sitrep 2

VZCZCXRO9917
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1651/01 2750845
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020845Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3460
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7957
RHHJJPI/PACOM IDHS HONOLULU HI
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001651

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, CA, USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA KLUU, ACONVERY, AND RTHAYER,
ANE FOR KROSEN, BANGKOK FOR ADWYER, NSC FOR PMARCHAM, GENEVA FOR
NKYLOH, PACOM POLAD/J3/J5 FROM CHARGE OSIUS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV CASC ECON EAID SENV ID
SUBJECT: WEST SUMATRA EARTHQUAKE: SITREP 2

Reftel: Jakarta 01647 and previous.

1. The following information is current as of 11:00 local time.

CONDITIONS ON THE GROUND

2. There have been no reports of significant aftershocks since the
major earthquake of September 30 (reftel). However, any buildings
over two stories have either collapsed or sustained extensive
damage. Despite heavy rains, the majority of the residents is too
afraid to return to their homes and is finding shelter under
makeshift tents or simply doing without. GOI officials report that
food and clean water supplies are sufficient for now but express
concern that if the power shortage continues and roads remain
blocked, shortages will appear. Eighty percent of the electrical
power is out in the affected area, as well as communication
facilities. Moreover, due to rapidly dwindling fuel supplies use of
generators is limited. Hotel space is nonexistent.

DEATHS AND INJURIES

3. As expected the number of deaths and injuries has increased
significantly since last night. The GOI estimates that 777 have
died, while the UN estimates over 1,100 dead with more expected.
Unconfirmed reports place the number of injured in excessQ 10,000
although the official figure standQat 440. As noted reftel there
are still no reports of Amcit victims.

GOI NATIONAL AND LOCAL EFFORTS

4. The Padang mayor and local officials has established a command
center in Padang. The center will handle communications,
interagency coordinatiQ and serve as the meeting point for missing
people. The Governor's office, with assistance from DOJ, has been
set up as the National Disaster Management Command Center.

5. President Yudhoyono and several of his ministers and staff flew
to Padang last night in order to assess the situation. Due to the
lack of accommodations, they reportedly spent the night in a cement
factory and will return to Jakarta this afternoon. Both the
Indonesian military and police are on the ground with supplies of
medicine, blankets, tents and other supplies needed for short term
relief.

USG EFFORTS

6. In line with President Obama's October 1 remarks to the press,
Embassy Jakarta is working closely with the GOI to offer appropriate
assistance. Through USAID's office of U.S. Foreign Disaster
Assistance, we have USD300, 000 ready to be allocated to address the
most immediate needs. Additionally, we have allocated an additional
USD3 million which we will provide once all needs have been properly
determined. The USG is also deploying a disaster assistance rapid
reaction team (DARRT) to arrive Sunday. DOD has reprogrammed a USAF
C-130, here for a training exercise, to ferry personnel and
equipment to Padang. We will seek additional assistance, in
cooperation with the GOI, as needs are identified.

7. Seven embassy personnel, including consular and Justice
officers, arrived in Padang on Thursday night. They are staying in
the lobby of the Padang Hotel and have sporadic satellite phone, as
well as more reliable cell phone contact with the Embassy. They are
trying to locate Americans and assist the GOI set up a command post.
Padang, Jakarta and Medan are tracking Americans, by phone and on
foot at the scene. All updates are entered into the crisis database
in CCD. We have no outstanding Amcit emergency cases. Two Embassy
SUVs loaded with supplies left Jakarta overland for Padang on
Thursday night. PACOM personnel depart for Padang Friday afternoon.
Other Embassy staff, including Defense and consular personnel, will
go to Padang on Saturday. It is becoming increasingly difficult to
obtain commercial air seats.

INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

8. As reported reftel, the UNOCHA convened a NGO/Red Cross/Donor
Coordination meeting the evening of October 1. The group noted that
although the GOI has welcomed international assistance, it must be
provided in close cooperation with Indonesian authorities. The
National Body for Disaster Response will take the lead among
Indonesian ministries and agencies. A number of donors in the
region; Australia, Japan, Singapore and China, have responded with
search and rescue assistance, including supplies and personnel.
Mercy Corps, operating in Padang, will serve as the coordinator for
NGOs in the Padang region.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

JAKARTA 00001651 002 OF 002

9. A 60 Minutes team arrived from Singapore on October 2, as well as
50 journalists, including from CNN, Financial Times, and LA Times.
Osius#

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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