Many families enrolled on the SOS Family Strengthening Programme in Yogyakarta (Lembang near Bandung), in Indonesia, have been evacuated following the eruption of the Mount Merapi volcano on 26 October. Mount Merapi lies some 500 km (310 miles) south-east of Jakarta on Indonesia's most heavily populated island, Java. The families are now staying in camps in Yogyakarta town as their villages were swept by volcanic hot air.
Two of the SOS Children Centres are also affected directly by the eruption. These centres were built in the aftermath of the 2006 earthquake in the region and became very popular within the community. Volunteers from the community are running the centres with the help of SOS youths and staff from the SOS Family Strengthening Programme. The affected centres are:
- “Mutiara Abadi” SOS Children Centre at Umbulharjo Village, Cangkringan, Sleman, only 3.8 kms from the peak
- “Aditya Yodha” SOS Children Center at Turi Village, Sleman
Volunteers from SOS Children’s Village Lembang are now busy with helping in the evacuation and supporting people in need. The national director of SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia, Gregor Nitihardjo, will be in Yogyakarta today to get first-hand information.
Indonesia witnessed another disaster, a tsunami near Padang caused by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake on 25 October. SOS Children’s Villages does not have any projects in the area. More than 100 dead and thousands rendered homeless after 3m-high wave crashed into the Mentawai islands off the coast of Western Sumatra.