Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merapi Aftermath - Yogyakarta

The hot ash cloud from Merapi eruption came at 200km per hour. It was a good thing they had an 1 1/2 hour warning to evacuate. The chief's son went back for his documents and was not heard since presumably killed by the heat radiated from the hot cloud. It was very certainly hell on earth. Destruction was wreaked on the land, trees, farms, animals and humans. Even the revered spiritual keeper of Merapi was not spared. It was a day where hell was let loose. The land was scorched land.

I tried to go in earlier but the flights were cancelled, but its never too late to be of help. I was taken in by the local headman through the roadblocks using small paths. We got as near as we can. If the locals dare not go, let's not push it, thus stopping at the 7km mark. Beyond and nearer to the volcano, more destruction beckoned. By then I have seen sufficient desolation for a day.

The relief work was well undertaken by the government and NGO. After a month all will be back to normal and those who have lost their houses, land and farm may be left to fend for themselves especially those that are in remote areas and well away from the glare of publicity. Temporary housing whose lifespan is between 2-4 years is need for those who have lost homes as they cannot stay too long with their relatives. And hopefully funds were made available for them to rebuild.

Windows and glass broke and exploded at the great heat. Furniture inside the house was 'cooked'. Trees were swept down.

 These yam plants sprung back into life a few days after it hot ash 'rain'. So will the Yogyakartans. They have returned from the dead after the 2006 earthquake.
 A solitary bamboo shoot springing into life. Speaks of the resilience of humans.
The streets were empty and businesses were shuttered. This village was just 1km away from destruction.
Evacuees living along the corridors of the stadium. More were housed in community halls.
Lining up for a bowl of instant noodles. The government, private sector and NGOs were quick to help out in the recovery and relief. The evacuees needs were taken care off.
The ash dumped by the Merapi went upward and then fell from the sky and settled on the fronds the palm trees like these coconut trees in the picture. As more fell the fronds bent downward at the weakest point. The trees will take some time to recover.

1 comment:

Ciki said...

wow, really so good of you to help and volunteer your time and give of yourself. I agree that the solitary bamboo shoot represents the resilience of humans.. and you helping them heal will make things better soon..