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Beca Howard, Communications Manager
CARLISLE, MA, 10/12/09 — Within the span of five days the South Pacific was been devastated by a string of natural disasters. Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) is on the ground in Indonesia and the Samoan Islands, and has launched a fundraising appeal to support the recovery efforts. HODR, a recently accepted National VOAD Member, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of volunteers to bring direct assistance to survivors of natural disasters both in the US and around the world.
The organization’s South Pacific Disaster Recovery Fund aims to raise $250,000 toward the recovery efforts following the recent series of disasters.
“There’s a tremendous amount of suffering in the South Pacific right now after the recent string of disasters. Fortunately, we have experience in two of the affected areas having run successful campaigns to address the needs in 2006 following a super-typhoon in the Philippines and an earthquake in Indonesia,” says Marc Young, International Operations Director for HODR.
HODR projects organize volunteer work to meet the unique needs of the community, and can include everything from debris removal to rebuilding homes and schools. On the organization’s 2006 deployment to the Philippines volunteers rebuilt and renovated elementary school and daycare facilities, built fishing boats to restore the livelihood of fishing villages, and dug out nearly 150 homes buried by the mudflows. HODR’s 2006 Indonesian earthquake response mainly focused on rubble removal and salvaging materials, which residents quickly used to rebuild.
South Pacific Tsunami
On September 29 a powerful 8.0 earthquake created a series of tsunami waves that struck American Samoa, Western Samoa, and a small northern island in Tonga. Some of the waves are estimated to have been as high as 6 meters (more than 19 feet) high, and initial estimates show that as many as 15,000 people have been affected.
On September 30 a devastating 7.6 earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra and within 24 hours a second earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit, causing further damage on the stricken island.
HODR assessment teams in both the Samoan Islands and Indonesia are meeting with local officials, visiting affected areas and evaluating the recovery needs in order to determine further involvement and the potential for volunteer projects.
To support HODR’s South Pacific Disaster Recovery Fund please visit www.HODR.org/SouthPacific.
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