Letter from Bumi Sehat Organization

Hi Bumi Sehat Family all over the globe...

Concerning the Earthquake that struck in our neighbor island of Java near Jogyakarta. Yes the situation is grim. Wil, my husband, was near the crater rim of the volcano Merapi when the earthquake struck (he was working for Discovery Channel as the sound man on a shoot). They were filming at sunrise a small village about 3 km from the caldera. When the earth shook and the volcano erupted, they thought for a moment that they were done for. There was general panic among the villagers. The eruption turned out to be a small one, caused by the earthquake. It has now been determined that the earthquake was offshore and part of the activity between the continental plates, like the earthquake that caused the tsunami. Yes, some people felt and heard it here in Bali, including me. It was barely dawn, and it woke me. Perhaps because I had been worrying about Wil on that crater rim all week, I was sensitive to Mother Earth's movements.

The Discovery team headed down toward the city, to find the people stampeding toward the mountain, in fear of a tsunami. Naturally when they looked up and saw that Merapi had erupted, well that is truly being between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea! The latest reports are that it was a 6.2 earthquake. Thank heaven it was not stronger. As it is, much of Jogyakarta and the surrounding area, has turned to rubble. The poor, living in makeshift brick houses, with tile roofs were buried before they awoke. Even large, newer buildings, like the hotel Wil was staying in were structurally damaged.

The hospitals were also damaged, and now thousands of people are laying out in parking lots and fields, awaiting medical treatment. I packed up medical supplies, especially wound care necessities. At 4 a.m. The next morning two of our Bumi Staff members, Rosita (from Jogya ­ her family all survived, but her sister's house was totally destroyed) and her husband, Matias, left to transport them. They flew into Solo, as the Jogya airport has been destroyed, and took the bus. By late afternoon we heard that they had arrived and delivered the supplies. Bumi Sehat is coordinating with other local NGOs to send out medical people. I just got word that it is raining in Jogya, friends here are organizing blankets, tarps, tents, food. I am awaiting one high risk overdue mom, and then I will head out there to do what I can.

At this time first aid is the priority. We will know more over time about vitamins etc., of course they are needed, everywhere in this country. As I see it, we are in the phase transition and things are shaking up all around the Ring of Fire. Team Bumi Sehat is trying to stay calm and organize to be useful in what looks like hard times ahead for Asia. We depend upon your help to bring a little light to the situation.

I am trying to place a full time long term senior "mother" midwife at the Aceh clinic, so that the situation there will be more sustained. My prayer for our Samatiga Tsunami survivors is for them to grow out of disaster/depression mode and into healing and daily life. (yes, they are still basically grieving, homeless and jobless - though some small houses are slowly appearing). I don't want this new disaster to lead to the people of Aceh being abandoned. We are committed to keeping the Tsunami Relief clinic open, but frankly it is most difficult to find operating funds.

At Bumi Sehat Bali right now... We have three new babies born in the last 24 hours and three moms in Labor. Thank you so much for your support. We just could not do it without you all.

Love, Ibu Robin and Team Bumi

Sakhti Foundation is currently supporting Bumi Sehat and their Java Quake Victim Relief on the ground in Java! Please Donate!
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