Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Marines Land To Help Quake Victims

May 31, 2006 -- BANTUL, Indonesia - "Two U.S. military cargo planes landed yesterday at the site of an earthquake in Indonesia that killed nearly 5,700, bringing some of the first significant aid to reach the tens of thousands of survivors who were left homeless.

About 20 Marines arrived on the cargo planes in the historic city of Yogyakarta and unloaded heavy-lifting machinery and a portable field hospital, as Malaysian, Chinese and Japanese rescue workers joined Indonesian teams providing medical care and emergency supplies to victims.

About 200,000 survivors of Saturday's 6.3-magnitude quake lost their homes.

Jan Egeland, the United Nations' top humanitarian official, praised the aid effort for having made "enormous progress."

"The most critical need is medical assistance and after that, it's water and sanitation, and third is emergency shelter," Egeland said."

Whenever I'd ask how people could live in such a god forsaken part of the world, the answer invariably was, "They can't." They know it, the Indonesian government knows it, and before it became fashionable to report such destruction from this part of the world they were not just expendable, but it was hoped that nature would cull enough to allow the remainder to eke out some sort of meager existence. Now folks want to help them, but that's not how it works. Too many survive such events and many more will starve or resort to cannibalism.

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