Tsunami, Horror and Death
Salvation Army Units Minister to
Survivors and Care Givers
PAPUA NEW GUINEA–In the wake of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) devastating tsunami, which killed more than 2,000 and left over 10,000 injured, Salvation Army relief teams are actively involved in rescue and relief work, and are providing medical, physical and spiritual assistance to victims and caregivers.
Recently, a patrol found 68 children and 26 adults approximately 7-10 km. from the Sissano Lagoon area. Hungry, with no provisions or clothing and a number suffering from fever and malaria, they had been given up for dead until the news of their survival was learned. The Salvation Army was asked to go to their assistance and set up an aid post.
Within hours, Army health workers arranged for seriously ill children to be airlifted, with their parents, to a hospital; water team workers sank a well and found clean water, and officer personnel began work with helping villagers build shelters. The medical team set up a makeshift clinic and continued to treat the injured and ill. The Army will remain with the people until further notice.
“Phase One, the burial of the dead, locating survivors, treating injuries and re-locating survivors, has now been completed,” reports Papua New Guinea Officer Commanding Lt. Colonel Roy G.W. Bungay. “There is an overlap now with Phase Two, which includes confirmation of operation structures, ground control, distribution of goods, and establishing a rehabilitation program.”
The Army now has 27 people in the disaster zone, including medical teams composed of doctors and nurses from the New Zealand, the Australia Eastern, and Papua New Guinea Territories.
Bungay notes that The Salvation Army, which has no established work in the immediate location, was among the first non-government organizations to get to the disaster site. “The reconstruction of the villages and healing of the people will be a long process. Our involvement and support role during the disaster will be reviewed in the long term and in the context of partnership with many other groups, and the government.”
Assisting in relief coordination are Bungay, Lt. Colonel Don Woodland, Australia National Secretary, PNG Command Public Relations Officer Capt. Sere Kala, and Major Lorraine Mack, PNG secretary for Social Affairs.
From an International News Report