PANGANDARAN, Indonesia The Church is again sending humanitarian aid to Indonesia, following a tsunami July 17 that killed more than 530 people, with 275 still missing as of press deadline.
The tsunami was the fourth major disaster to strike Indonesia, starting with a tsunami that devastated the nation Dec. 26, 2004. As in past disasters, Church members in the country immediately began assembling hygiene kits and cleaning kits. Plastic sheeting was also purchased by the Church for use in the area, according to Church Welfare Services officials.
The magnitude 7.7 undersea quake on July 17 triggered walls of water more than 6 feet high that crashed into a 110-mile stretch of beach on Java island, an area spared by the devastating 2004 tsunami. However, Java was hit by a quake in May that killed more than 5,800 people. Another earthquake hit Indonesia's northern Sumatra in March 2005.
Waves from the recent tsunami destroyed houses, restaurants and hotels and tossed boats, cars and motorbikes far inland.
Indonesia was hardest hit by a 2004 tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in a dozen Indian Ocean nations with more than half the deaths occurring in Sumatra island's Aceh province.
Immediately following the disaster, the Church went to work in Indonesia on a large scale. After offering emergency response, LDS Humanitarian Services began working with community based organizations to provide longer-term aid and development. Today, the Church continues to partner with major humanitarian organizations to construct homes, schools, health clinics and water and sanitation systems in Indonesia.
The Church's work in Indonesia is its most significant humanitarian effort to date fueled by the fast offerings of members and contributions from others in responding to a request from the First Presidency and marking the first time the Church has offered long-term assistance after a disaster.