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Cablegate: Indonesia Earthquake Humanitarian Update #7: Usaid/Dart

VZCZCXRO9492
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1726/01 2870937
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140937Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3578
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7986
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1090
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8843
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 03 JAKARTA 001726

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: INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE HUMANITARIAN UPDATE #7: USAID/DART
ASSESSES MENTAWAI ISLANDS AND DOD REDEPLOYS FORCES

REF: JAKARTA 01715

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

1. The USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART)
continues to assess emergency shelter needs, in light of recent
reports that the September 30 earthquake damaged more than 265,000
houses and destroyed the majority of brick kilns that serve affected
areas. Following an assessment in the Mentawai Islands, the
USAID/DART reports that areas assessed sustained little damage, and
short-term food insecurity has been resolved. The USAID/DART has
concluded aerial assessments of landslides caused by the earthquake
and is sharing GPS coordinates of affected areas with the
humanitarian community. In close coordination with the U.S. Embassy
in Jakarta and the USAID/DART, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
has determined that the demand for air transportation of relief
commodities has decreased and is concluding its response to the
earthquake. End summary.

-----------------------
Shelter and Settlements
-----------------------

2. The USAID/DART continues to assess emergency shelter needs and
work with other members of the humanitarian community and
implementing partners to help meet such needs. As of October 13,
the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
and the Government of Indonesia (GoI) National Disaster Management
Agency (BNPB) reported that the earthquake had damaged more than
265,000 houses, including more than 135,000 houses severely damaged
or destroyed. As noted in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP),
early shelter assessments indicated that more than 70,000 households
have unmet needs for emergency shelter assistance.

3. Participants in the October 13 Shelter Cluster meeting in Padang
reported that the emergency phase, as defined by the GoI, may be
shortened from one month to a lesser period. At the end of the
emergency phase, the GoI will begin tabulating the total number of
damaged houses for the planned GoI compensation plan. While details
are not yet finalized, the GoI will likely provide cash assistance
to families whose houses were damaged or destroyed. The USAID/DART
hopes that a GoI compensation program will build upon lessons
learned from a similar program implemented by the GoI after the May
2006 earthquake in Java.

4. Most houses in earthquake-affected areas are constructed of
brick or stone. The brick producer that provided 60 percent of the
bricks for markets in earthquake-affected areas lost all of the
kilns in the earthquake and is at present unable to produce bricks.
Smaller brick producers that produce lower-quality bricks, however,
continue to operate. As reported reftel, a shortage in the supply
of bricks could cause the price of bricks to increase and/or
households to use lower-quality bricks for rebuilding damaged or
destroyed houses. Oxfam is conducting a market survey of the brick
market, according to Oxfam representatives at the recent Shelter
Cluster meeting. The USAID/DART, including the shelter and
settlements specialist scheduled to arrive in country on October 16,
is closely following this issue.

---------------------
USAID/DART Activities
---------------------

-- Assessment of Mentawai Islands --

5. On October 13, the USAID/DART field officer assessed
humanitarian conditions in the Mentawai Islands, located off the
coast of Sumatra southwest of Padang. Prior to conducting the
assessment, conditions were unknown in the absence of formal
assessments. Given the islands' proximity to the epicenter of the

JAKARTA 00001726 002 OF 003


earthquake, the USAID/DART was concerned that the islands might have
sustained considerable damage.

6. The USAID/DART field officer accompanied the non-governmental
organization (NGO) SurfAid to Muara Siberut, located in Siberut
Selatan Sub-District on the southeastern part of Siberut Island. In
this town of 7,200, the team met with the camat (sub-district head)
to discuss current needs. The camat reported that the most pressing
need was for school tents to replace the damaged schools. The field
officer reported this need to the Education Cluster, which is
following up. The USAID/DART field officer observed very little
noticeable infrastructure damage, as most houses remain intact.
Water points are operational, and irrigation canals continue to
function.

7. Immediately following the earthquake, food security issues
arose, as the ferry service that ran between Padang and the Mentawai
islands was interrupted. Most families on the island grow a portion
of their food but also rely on market purchases to make up the
shortfall. The ferry service interruption resulted in temporary
food insecurity due to lack of available food. However, the camat
reported that the ferry service had resumed and that food was now
available for purchase on area markets. Market inspection confirmed
this statement. The program officer spoke with families who
confirmed being able to purchase food in the market and reported
that the price had not significantly increased. Thus, localized
food insecurity was a temporary issue which was addressed through
the resumption of the ferry service.

8. Part of Siberut Island lies in closer proximity to the epicenter
of the September 30 quake than does Muara Siberut, which the
USAID/DART assessed. The USAID/DART has received preliminary
reports that the northeastern part of the island sustained more
damage the Muara Siberut. The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) is currently conducting assessments in northeastern
Siberut. The USAID/DART will continue to monitor the situation.

-- Aerial Assessments of Landslides --

9. On October 14, the USAID/DART finished conducting aerial
assessments of landslides caused by the earthquake. The USAID/DART
collected GPS coordinates and photos of each landslide; this
information will be used in a comprehensive map of landslides caused
by the September 30 quake. The USAID/DART will also share this
information with the GoI and the humanitarian clusters.

-- Visit of Emergency Relief Coordinator --

10. From October 13 to 15, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes is
visiting earthquake-affected areas of West Sumatra Province. On
October 14, the USAID/DART attended a meeting of humanitarian relief
agencies in Padang, conducted by the Emergency Relief Coordinator.
At the request of the Indonesian Military (TNI), the U.S. Department
of Defense (DoD) is providing helicopter support for the Emergency
Relief Coordinator's visit.

-- USAID/OFDA Programming and Planning --

11. As of October 13, USAID/OFDA and the USAID/DART had programmed
more than $4.8 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the
earthquake. Funding is supporting mobile medical clinics for 90
days; the procurement and distribution of emergency relief supplies,
including household relief items and tools; programs to address
water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs; and additional shelter
and WASH programs implemented by a consortium of NGOs.

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

12. In close coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and the

JAKARTA 00001726 003 OF 003


USAID/DART, DoD has determined that the demand for air
transportation of relief commodities has decreased as outlying areas
have become more accessible. Consequently, DoD is completing its
response to the earthquake and has begun to redeploy forces. The
U.S.S. McCampbell departed from Indonesian waters on October 13, and
the U.S.S. Denver, U.S.N.S. Byrd, and the C-130 cargo plane are
scheduled to depart on October 14.

13. As of October 13, DoD fixed and rotary wing aircraft had
transported 891 passengers and 380,500 pounds of cargo. On October
13, the Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT) treated
281 patients. The HARRT remained open through 1200 hours local time
on October 14, at which point DoD began preparations to redeploy the
mobile medical unit on October 16. The USAID/DART is assisting DoD
to consign medical supplies from the HARRT to organizations that are
able to utilize these supplies.


Osius#

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