Clean water and medicine running desperately short in Indonesia

Child survivors suffer fevers and dehydration as medical supplies and clean water run desperately short in areas ravaged by Indonesian tsunami

  • Red Cross warns supplies of medicine and water for survivors of Indonesian tsunami are perilously low
  • Children are suffering fevers, headaches and are complaining of thirst while bodies rot in the streets 
  • 429 people died and 128 are missing after tidal wave was triggered by eruption at Child of Krakatoa volcano
  • 1,400 were injured and are in need of aid while another 16,000 were forced to flee their homes 

Charity workers are warning that supplies of medicine and fresh water for survivors of the Indonesian tsunami are running perilously low.

Children are suffering with fevers and headaches while complaining of thirst, while 1,400 people injured in the natural disaster urgently need medical care.

Compounding the problem is the fact that hundreds of bodies from the tidal wave – which killed at least 429 and left 128 missing – have been left to rot in the streets.

Badly damaged roads and torrential rains compounded the issue as ambulances brought in to take the bodies away became stuck.

Elsewhere Christians in the Muslim-majority country gathered for subdued Mass services on Christmas Day amid the tragedy.

Aid workers are warning that medical supplies and clean water are running desperately low as ambulances struggle to remove bodies of those killed during the Indonesian tsunami

Children are suffering from fevers and headaches, and are reporting symptoms of dehydration according to charity workers inside the disaster zone in Sumatra

More than 1,400 people were injured when a 20ft wall of water smashed into Indonesia on December 22, after being triggered by a volcanic eruption which caused a landslide

Family members visit a tsunami survivor at a hospital ward in Kalianda, Lampung province on Christmas Day

A destroyed car is seen after a tsunami hit an area in Tangung Lesung, Banten province, Indonesia

Local residents walk among debris after a tsunami hit Sunda Strait in Sumur, Banten, Indonesia

Local residents walk among debris after a tsunami hit Sunda Strait in Sumur, Banten, Indonesia

Christians in the majority-Muslim country held muted Christmas Day mass services amid the tragedy

People attend a Christmas service at Rahmat Pentecostal Church in Carita, Indonesia. Typically filled with laughter and uplifting music, the celebrations were instead replaced by somber prayers

Residents affected by the tsunami attend a mass during Christmas at Carita Pentecostal Church in Pandeglang, Indonesia

Pastor Markus Taekz said Tuesday his Rahmat Pentecostal Church in the hard-hit area of Carita did not celebrate with joyous songs this year.

Instead, he said only about 100 people showed up for the Christmas Eve service, usually attended by double that number. Many congregation members had already left the area for the capital, Jakarta, or other locations away from the impact zone.

‘This is an unusual situation because we have a very bad disaster that killed hundreds of our sisters and brothers in Banten,’ he said, referring to the Javanese province. ‘So our celebration is full of grief.’ 

Church leaders called on Christians across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, to pray for victims of the tsunami.  

Rizal Alimin, a doctor working for NGO Aksi Cepat Tanggap, told The Telegraph: ‘A lot of the children are sick with fevers, headaches and they haven’t had enough water.

‘We have less medicine than usual [and] there isn’t enough clean water. They need food and people are sleeping on the floor.’

Harmensyah, one of those involved in the disaster relief effort, said: ‘I understand if some refugee groups don’t get food but the most important thing for us is to save lives and evacuate the bodies before they start to decompose.’

The death toll from the Indonesia tsunami rose to 429 overnight on Monday as search efforts continued, but officials privately admitted that there was little chance of finding anyone else alive

Aid is now desperately needed to help the 1,400 people injured in the disaster along with shelter for 16,000 who fled their homes after the tsunami struck on Saturday

 Parts of a damaged ride are seen at a amusement park after it was hit by a tsunami at the Sumber Jaya village in Sumur

A man holds his son amid the devastation caused by the Indonesia tsunami, which was triggered by an eruption at the ‘Child of Krakatoa’ volcano on Saturday

People inspect the damage at a tsunami-ravaged village in Sumur, Indonesia, on Christmas Day

Soldiers and police will continue searches for survivors until the end of the week, despite hopes fading of finding people alive

Attempts to reach victims of the disaster were hampered on Tuesday by torrential rains which stopped ambulances from arriving to carry away victims’ bodies

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia Disaster Mitigation Agency, said there was an urgent need for heavy equipment in remote Sumur subdistrict, a hard-to-reach area near Ujung Kulon National Park that experienced heavy damage.  

Some villages there have been cut off due to damaged roads and bridges, making it difficult to supply aid and help people who may be injured or trapped.

Military troops, government personnel and volunteers were searching along debris-strewn beaches. Where victims were found, yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead. 

Chunks of broken concrete and splintered wood littered the coast where hundreds of homes and hotels had stood. 

Overnight on Monday Indonesian officials raised the death toll to 429 with 128 still missing, though admitted it was unlikely that anyone else would be found alive.

Meanwhile the front man of an Indonesian pop group whose saw three of his bandmates killed when their gig was torn apart by a tsunami buried his wife on Tuesday after she also died at the event.

Riefian Fajarsyah posted an emotional tribute to wife Dylan Sahara on Instagram on Tuesday, alongside a video which showed him stroking her coffin. Another photo of her was captioned: ‘How can I live without you?’

Sahara was in a crowd of 200 on Tanjung Lesung beach on Saturday as Fajarsyah’s band Seventeen performed when a 20ft wall of water smashed into the crowd around 9.30pm. It was a day before Sahara’s 26th birthday. 

Also killed were bassist M. Awal ‘Bani’ Purbani, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, road manager Oki Wijaya and another crew member, whose funerals were held on Monday. The band’s drummer, who has not been named, also died.  

In another online post, Fajarsyah said: ‘Thank you guys for your prayers. Only God can repay your kindness. Please send prayers for my wife Dylan so she will be at peace.’

Riefian Fajarsyah buried wife Dylan Sahara (pictured together) on Tuesday, three days after a tsunami ripped through the gig venue where his band Seventeen were performing in Indonesia

Dylan was in the audience watching her boyfriend perform on the day before her 26th birthday when the wave hit, also killing three other members of the band

Riefian posted tributes to his wife on Instagram on Tuesday, one of which showed him touching her coffin along with the caption ‘let’s go home (left). Another showed a picture of her with the caption: ‘How can I live without you?’

Riefian attended funerals for two of his bandmates on Monday before his wife’s body was identified that evening, before a funeral was held on Tuesday

Dylan was the daughter of a prominent Indonesian politician, an actress and TV personality in her own right, and was gearing up to run for office in next year’s elections

Sahara – who was running for a parliament seat in next year’s elections – was identified at a hospital late Monday, according to Indonesian media.

The 25-year-old was the daughter of a well-known Indonesian politician and an actress and TV personality in her own right.

‘(She) was not perfect and neither am I, but she never stopped trying to be the best wife,’ Fajarsyah said in his emotional online tribute. ‘I could not ask for more.’

Another tragic tale of survival came from the village of Way Muli, on the coast of Sumatra, where father Udin Ahok was forced to choose between saving his wife or his mother and baby.

The 46-year-old Indonesian had just gone to sleep on Saturday evening when a wall of water smashed into his house in village on the coast of Sumatra.

Panicked, he fought to reach his sleeping 70-year-old mother and one-year-old son but then he saw his wife about to drown in the swirling waters.

He plucked her to safety and they survived the fury of a volcano-triggered tsunami that smashed into Indonesia’s coast, killing more than 400 people who had no time to escape.

Ahok’s mother and baby were found dead under mountains of debris.

Traditional fishing boats are seen damaged after being hit by a tsunami in the Teluk village, in Banten province

A sunken vessel is pictured after a tsunami hit in Anyer, Indonesia

A woman walks amid debris at a tsunami-ravaged village in Sumur, Indonesia

Villagers inspect what is left of their homes and livelihoods after a tsunami hit Tanjung village last week

Another aerial view of the volcano in Indonesia shows huge clouds of smoke climbing into the sky after its devastating eruption

More than 1,000 people are also reported injured after a giant wave destroyed hundreds of homes, hotels and businesses along tourist beaches in Java and Sumatra on Saturday

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    ‘I didn’t have time to save my mother and son,’ a weeping Ahok told AFP from a local shelter for evacuees in one of the stricken region’s hardest-hit areas.

    ‘I regret it so much. I can only hope they’ve been given a place in God’s hands.’

    Waves followed an eruption and apparent landslide on Anak Krakatau, or ‘Child of Krakatoa,’ a volcanic island that formed in the early part of the 20th century near the site of the cataclysmic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who faces what promises to be a tough re-election campaign next year, vowed to have all tsunami-detection equipment replaced or repaired.

    Nugroho acknowledged on Twitter that the country’s network of detection buoys had been out of order since 2012 because of vandalism and budget shortfalls.

    But the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said the tsunami was likely caused by Krakatau’s volcanic activity and so could not have been picked up by the agency’s sensors, which monitor conventional earthquakes responsible for more than 90 percent of Indonesia’s tsunamis.

    Karnawati said the tsunami was probably caused by the collapse of a big section of the volcano’s slope. 

    Anak Krakatau been erupting since June and did so again 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said. Other scientists have said an underwater landslide may also have contributed to the disaster.

    Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

    The massive eruption of Krakatoa killed more than 30,000 people and hurled so much ash that it turned day to night in the area and reduced global temperatures. 

    Thousands were believed killed by a quake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi island in September, and an earlier quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August.

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