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Cablegate: Mgeap1: Indonesia Earthquake Humanitarian Update #3

VZCZCXRO4137
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1688/01 2801020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071020Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3526
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7972
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1076
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8825
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001688

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, CA
STATE FOR USAID
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA CCHAN, ACONVERY, RTHAYER, AND RMT
USAID FOR ANE KROSEN
BANGKOK FOR ADWYER
NSC FOR CPRATT
USUN FOR DMERCADO
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
PACOM POLAD/J3/J5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV CASC ECON EAID SENV ID PHUM AEMR ASEC CASC
MARR, PREL, PINR, AMGT, EAID, AQ, LA, RP, TN, VM, WS

SUBJECT: MGEAP1: INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE HUMANITARIAN UPDATE #3

-------
Summary
-------

1. As of October 6, the September 30 earthquake in Indonesia has
resulted in at least 704 deaths and left an additional 295 people
missing. Preliminary damage assessments indicate that the
humanitarian situation in Padang is stabilizing. The cluster system
in Padang appears well managed and highly effective. On October 6,
the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART), the U.S.
Charge d'Affaires, the U.S. Pacific Command-designated Mission
Commander, and Medan Principal Officer met with Government of
Indonesia (GoI) officials and humanitarian organizations, visited
affected areas in Padang, and toured the U.S. Department of Defense
(DoD) Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT). The
USAID/DART continues to assess conditions and aims to complete a
program strategy as early as October 7. DoD continues to support
the humanitarian response, including through the HARRT, ships en
route to Padang, and helicopters that will provide heavy lift
capacity. End summary.

-------------------------
Number of People Affected
-------------------------

2. As reported by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the GoI National Disaster Management
Agency (BNPB) confirmed on October 6 that the earthquake caused 704
deaths, with the majority in Padang city. An additional 295 people
are reported missing. The number of casualties is expected to
increase.

-----------------------------
Preliminary Damage Assessment
-----------------------------

3. Various reports indicate that the humanitarian situation in
Padang appears to be stabilizing, and that needs are being met
through a combination of GoI and local charitable resources as well
as through relief agency support. According to the USAID/DART,
preliminary damage assessments indicate that the most severely
affected areas are north and east of Padang in Padang Pariaman and
Agam districts. Access to the most affected areas has reportedly
not been a problem.

4. As reported by OCHA, the GoI BNPB confirmed that the quake
severely damaged 88,272 houses, inflicted moderate damage on 43,323
houses, and slightly damaged 47,076 houses. The GoI Ministry of
Health reported that 4 hospitals, 12 community health centers, and
10 supporting community health centers have collapsed. The GoI
Ministry of Health has established field hospitals and deployed
3,000 health workers to the affected areas.

5. According to OCHA, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) reported
that in Padang and Padang Pariaman, the majority of buildings,
particularly single story residential housing, have sustained little
or no damage. However, many multi-story buildings have either
collapsed or sustained significant damaged. In outlying villages,
particularly in Padang Pariaman, housing sustained significant
damage. UNDP reported that the earthquake destroyed between 70 and
100 percent of houses in remote villages. In these areas, villagers
have established temporary shelters in front of houses and have
begun to recycle building materials from damaged houses.

6. UNDP, according to OCHA, has confirmed at least three locations
in Padang Pariaman district where large-scale landslides occurred,
destroying entire villages and agricultural land. Options for
recovery work in areas affected by landslides are limited, as many
slopes remain unstable and heavy rains are increasing the risk of
further landslides.

-------------------------
Humanitarian Coordination

JAKARTA 00001688 002 OF 002


-------------------------

7. The USAID/DART reports that the cluster meetings appear to be
well managed and that the cluster system seems highly effective.
This is likely due to the fact that many of the cluster leads in
West Sumatra were previously working on the response to the May 2006
earthquake in West Java. These cluster leads are bringing tools
used in West Java to assist with coordination in West Sumatra.
Clusters have significant capacity in West Sumatra also because NGOs
have transferred staff from Aceh to West Sumatra and have been able
to mobilize relief commodities stockpiled in Medan or close to Aceh.
The humanitarian community has built capacity in Indonesia since
the 2004 tsunami, and this strengthened capacity is benefiting the
current humanitarian response.

-------------------------------
USAID/DART Activities in Padang
-------------------------------

8. On October 6, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Ted Osius, U.S. Pacific
Command-designated Mission Commander RADM Landolt, and Medan
Principal Officer met with GoI officials and NGO representatives,
visited affected areas in Padang, and toured the DoD HARRT. The
delegation's visit received significant positive local media
coverage, and the group spoke about U.S. capabilities and
contributions at every opportunity. (Comment: The USG has received
other positive media coverage, including through the BBC, which
reported that the USG is providing "millions of dollars" to
earthquake efforts. End comment.)

9. On October 6, the USAID/DART met with the U.K. Department for
International Development (DFID) Conflict, Humanitarian, and
Security Department (CHASE) team, which, like the USAID/DART, is a
deployable, rapid-response humanitarian team. The USAID/DART and
the DFID/CHASE discussed program coordination. DFID's preliminary
planning has been focused on shelter and water and includes plans to
program nearly $4.8 million through NGOs rather than U.N. agencies.


10. On October 6, the USAID/DART also met with NGOs operating in
the area to determine possible geographic gaps in coverage and to
ascertain priority humanitarian needs at present. The USAID/DART is
using this information to formulate a program strategy, which will
be circulated as early as October 7.

11. The flight containing relief commodities from USAID's Office of
U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), originating in Dubai,
has been postponed due to unexpected delays. The USAID/DART is
working to expedite the arrival of the flight in Padang as soon as
possible on October 8. Further information on the flight will be
reported septel.

-----------------------
DoD Earthquake Response
-----------------------

12. The DoD HARRT, or mobile medical unit, was fully functional in
Padang as of 0800 hours local time on October 7. The HARRT will
augment local medical facilities to treat medical needs. Two U.S.
ships are en route to Padang and scheduled to arrive on October 9,
and an additional ship is scheduled to arrive on October 10.
Helicopters with heavy lift capacity are arriving on the ships.
Five helicopters will be operational on October 9.

13. The USAID/DART is fielding requests from NGOs to airlift
supplies and teams on DoD helicopters to remote areas. The
USAID/DART is working on a system to effectively fill these requests
and may work with the U.N. Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC) to do so.


Osius#

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