Monday, May 29, 2006

Quake help links and translation tools

My friend Ndesanjo just sent me these great links to post on the blog.

The first is a wiki created to track news, links to aid organizations, and resources for people who need more information about the event.

And this online translation tool to translate from English to Indonesian (and reverse).
As with any web app, use it with a grain of salt and make allowances for crazy translation.
Halo kepada semua pembaca Indonesia. Harapan alat ini menolong
dan tidak menjengkelkan. Makasih

And for those of you who need some sort of visual reference for the things we are talking about, I came across these maps created by the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.


(image from USGS Earthquake Center)


Today I saw a lot of bodies and a lot of suffering people. The Bantul
district was flattened by the quake, and only a few buildings like the
hospital I visited remain intact. There were hundreds of people with
head wounds and crushed limbs in the ward – all spread out on blankets
and straw mats around the floor. There were open air surgeries going
on all over the place – mostly sutures and fracture setting business.
There's clearly not a lot of pain killers around because the people,
many of them kids, were screaming while the doctors worked.

Hundreds of people have turned to begging for aid. This morning
international aid still hadn't been distributed, and it's clear most
had gone hungry since Saturday. Even the people at the hospital
hadn't eaten since their previous breakfast 24 hours and a long night
ago. I talked to some of the people on the roadside, gave them what I
could. People who are not used to begging are especially emotional
about it. It's a line many people don't expect to cross. Even with
so many people crossing the line at once, the resulting humility can
be expensive.

There was also a mosque that had been turned into a morgue. I thought
it was stacks of supplies at first, maybe tents, because Muslim people
wrap their dead in a way that's still not immediately familiar to me.
In plain cloth, sort of bundled. Thousands of people died here. I saw
just a few dozen.

I feel like such details may be too sensational to put up here- the
kind of thing that ends up on bad disaster TV anyway. But the fact is
it's all I can think about. I've never seen anything like it. These
people are having a terrible week. I held my sensations at bay for
most of the day, but they poked through at awkward times otherwise.
While reading stories for the network, for example, it's best not to
weep. If you do, they'll accuse you of sensationalism.

An update of sorts

Not much personal news to report.
I chatted briefly with Trish this morning.
She had just arrived in Yogya to help Chad out for a few days.
She said Chad was okay, but exhausted.
Sounds like he's been working non-stop since he arrived.

News of the quake disaster seems to be slowing down and focusing on the disaster relief that is slowly trickling in.
Activity in Mount Merapi has picked up, and scientists and officials are keeping a worried eye on it.

For updated news and images from the area I've been following these links -
Godote at flickr has posted an amazing series of images from the quake. The one I used for this post knocked the wind out of me.
VOA - Chad's story for Voice of America
Indonesia Help - This seems to be a really good compilation site that contains links and info from a number of different sites and mailing lists focusing on the disaster.
The Jakarta Post - they have some great reporting on the event. This quote jumped out at me -

Though desperate, many people continue to display the traditional Javanese spirit of accepting fate and seeking the positive, no matter how dire the circumstances.

With his sarong tied between tree branches to provide some cover, 75-year-old Paryo remained defiant in spirit.

"We should be ashamed of begging, even to the government. We must bear our fate," the old man insisted.

Time Asia

Everybody take care and stay tuned.

(image via Godote @ flickr)