Indonesia is struggling to recover from a double disaster: while humanitarian workers battle bad weather to get aid to the survivors of the tsunami in Sumatra, people and animals in Java are suffering from the eruptions of Mount Merapi on Tuesday and Thursday.
Gas and ash from the volcano has killed 34 people and 345 cattle. Several thousand people have been evacuated from the area, but farmers in this agricultural zone are worried for their cattle. Our Indonesian member society Profauna needs around $8,000 for animal shelters, emergency veterinary treatment and feed, and we’re glad that we can give some of that while another animal group provides the rest.
We’re also providing technical support: one of our Disaster Liaison Officers (DLO) is heading out tomorrow for five days, and our Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) will join her from Bangkok. She will also meet people from the Indonesian Veterinary Association and together they’ll make a thorough assessment of what animals in the area need. For now, we’ll focus our efforts on cattle and monkeys; Profauna estimates there are around 1,000 cattle and 100 monkeys in need. But Merapi is showing no sign of calming down yet.