Jakarta. The Indonesian Red Cross have blamed “miscommunication” among emergency authorities for sending relief aid to the devastated town of Wasior in West Papua, despite the fact that most survivors had been evacuated to the provincial capital Manokwari.
Red Cross official La Abidin told the Jakarta Globe that the provincial government needed to step up and help coordinate the distribution of aid as most of the internally displaced had fled to Manokwari, while aid continued to pour into Wasior.
“There are many shelters in Manokwari despite the fact that aid is piling up in Wasior,” Abidin said. “The provincial government has to help because there is ongoing miscommunication and miscoordination … the fact is, many locals have gone to Manokwari,” he said.
At least 145 people were killed, 700 injured, more than 100 people are still missing and thousands of homes damaged when torrential rains triggered landslides and caused a river to burst its bank last Monday. Deforestation has been cited as another contributing factor to the disaster.
Abidin said efforts were still underway at the scene to recover bodies with the aid of heavy machinery.
“We are focusing on how to reach remote areas that are not accessible by land,” Abidin said, adding that helicopters had also been deployed to help provide medical assistance to remote areas.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, meanwhile, is expected to visit the scene of the disaster on Wednesday, more than a week after the floodwaters tore through a number of villages, including Wasior.
Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono said the government would assists in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts after the emergency response period ended on Oct. 19.