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Indonesia: Two Years After the Tsunami, Aceh Faces Record Floods

Contact: Amber Meikle, 0207 9349348,; Lurma Rackley in Atlanta, 404-979-9450,, both with CARE International


ACEH, Indonesia, Dec. 29 /Standard Newswire/ -- Ibu Wiwik sits on her front steps, all that remains of her house. "It's gone," she said, waving a tired hand at the pile of wooden planks and roofing, half-submerged in water and mud. "All gone."


Photo: A young man stands in front of the ruins of his home in Aceh, Indonesia. (©2006 Melanie Brooks/CARE)


Over 100 people are dead and an estimated 400,000 have been left without shelter after days of torrential rain that left entire villages in the region under water. Though heavy rains occur almost every year in this part of Indonesia, the current flooding is the worst in over a decade.


Ibu Wiwik and her husband Pak Zulham had assumed their house, built on stilts in the traditional style, would weather the storm as it had in previous years. But rising floods forced them to flee with their children to higher ground, where they watched helplessly as their village disappeared under water. When the water finally receded a few days later, the concrete front steps were all that remained of their family home.


"Nobody expected this. We have had floods before, small ones. Not like this," says Pak Zulham. Like thousands of others in the flood-stricken areas, Pak Zulham, Ibu Wiwik and their two small children are sleeping under a tent in the street. They have nowhere else to go.


CARE is sending blankets, tarps and emergency supplies to the thousands of people affected by flooding in the region, working closely with U.N. agencies, local governments and other aid organizations to deliver urgently needed food, supplies and shelter. CARE has worked in Indonesia for 40 years, and our tsunami response program includes more than 700 staff working in northern Aceh.


This latest disaster comes on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the devastating 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 132,000 people in Aceh.


"Indonesia has suffered incredibly over the past two years, from the tsunami in December of 2004 to the earthquake in Yogyakarta earlier this year," said Christophe Legrand, head of CARE's tsunami response program in Banda Aceh. "We are doing everything we can to ensure that people have shelter and supplies to help them overcome this latest tragedy."