It is really bad out there.
Just a quick update on Indonesia. Wayne Ulrich returned one and a half hours ago from a seven hour aerial assessment of the remote parts of the earthquake affected region. An experienced campaigner who has seen many civil wars in Africa for MSF, the Tsunami for CARE described what he saw today in the remote hills and valleys of the greater Padang area as like seeing the effects of an Atomic bomb being dropped on a huge region. He reported houses, mosques, clinics and schools flattened, and on hilly spurs, villages wiped out by landslides. When they landed in villages people walked about dazed not knowing whether to laugh or cry. No medical help visible as being walked about injured or sick.
This will be the Red Cross challenge, getting to the most vulnerable, the most affected in the remote areas.
Wayme and PMI experts went in with Tuckey, Colin Tuck, the NZ helicopters pilot I spoke of on my last posting. He was brilliant and took Wayne into all the remote villages.
I am going in tomorrow with Chairman PMI (Indonesian red Cross) to meet with Wayne and his dedicated PMI colleagues to get their assessment. Also Tuckey will fly us to drop in medical help and food.
It is a big quake and I have that nervous feeling it is bigger than expected.
600 people dead to date but that toll will double ? But it is the living we strive for, we plan for and live for.
Just about to grab a few hours sleep before a 4 am start. Flight to Padang at 6 am.
S-l-e-e-p w-e n-e-e--d t-e-l-l a-l-l p-e-o-p-l-e.