Members of the Indonesian army and rescue team carry the bodies of victims of an earthquake and tsunami in the coastal village of Purourougat in Mentawai District, West Sumatra October 28, 2010. A tsunami and a volcanic eruption in Indonesia have killed more than 300 people with over 400 missing and tens of thousands displaced, authorities said on Wednesday.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Army Chief of Staff General George Toisutta said he will deploy two battalions of the medical and logistic units to the quake and tsunami victims in Mentawai, West Sumatra. “One battalion from the eastern region is leaving on Thursday afternoon, while the battalion from the western region was already set to go to Mentawai,” he told the press after opening a seminar on moral development and national character at the special troops command (kopassus) headquaters in Cijantung, Jakarta, Thursday. In the distribution of food supplies, tents and medical supplies, George said, his men will use a Hercules as so many areas had become isolated following the quake and tsunami in Mentawai. “We will use a Hercules, because the locations are very difficult to reach. Members of free fall parachutist team of Kostrad will help distribute the supplies,” he said. But he added, a serious problem will arise if the waves in Mentai became too high and rough which will make it very difficult for his men to distribute the supplies. In the meantime, some 2,000 army personnel from the East, West, North and South, had been deployed to the area of Mt Merapi in Sleman, Yogyakarta, to help evacuate the victims of the volcano’s eruption.
“More men had been deployed to Mt Merapi than those to Mentawai because of its isolated location,” he said. In the meantime, Army information chief Brig Gen Sunaryo Widjonarko said the army members had entered the area of Mt Merapi in Sleman, Yogyakarta, to help evacuate the victims in the location. The tsunami in Mentawai had caused the loss of lives of more than 300 people and hundreds of others had gone missing, while the people killed in the Mt Merapi eruption on Wednesday morning had increased to more than 30.
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