Anger turns to despair for quake survivors in Sumatra
INDONESIA: Living in a squalid tent following earthquakes in
Indonesiaâ€™s Sumatra, Seri Hartati says she may be forced to beg to feed
her five children with no signs of financial help from the government.
Anger has turned to despair for some survivors of this weekâ€™s quakes
in West Sumatra province, many of whom were huddled in crowded tents
with little food and few amenities.
They were also uncertain about their future after the quakes left
them without jobs or money.
â€śI have no house, my husband is jobless and I have to feed my five
children,â€ť said 45-year-old Hartati, one of 100 survivors packed in a
tent about the size of a basketball court.
â€śI may have to rely on handouts. We have no savings,â€ť she said,
holding one of her small children.
West Sumatra was hit by a 6.4 magnitude quake and another measuring
6.3 on Tuesday that badly damaged 4,000 buildings and left thousands
An official at the National Coordinating Agency for Disaster
Management in Jakarta said on Friday the quakes killed 72 people and
seriously injured 504.
Hartatiâ€™s aged parents, her brother, her sister-in-law and their
six-month-old baby boy are also taking shelter under the blue tent.
Her father, a 69-year-old former soldier named Ripo, suffers from a
heart problem and asthma. Wearing an overcoat, Ripo, who like many
Indonesians uses one name, said the government did not even supply
blankets to them.
â€śThere are also no toilets here, but thereâ€™s electricity. And it gets
chilly here at night.â€ť
Outside the tent on Thursday evening, some women were cooking dinner
â€” a simple meal of plain rice and instant noodles.
At night, they sleep on straw mats on a badminton court covered by an