News from Aceh province not good

News from Aceh province not good
Published: 30 December 2004

The ABC’s Indonesia correspondent, Tim Palmer, has been following events in Aceh, “Well, the conditions in the capital are still very critical. There’s only electricity in part of the city. There’s a small area where the telephone works. Fuel has begun returning to the city so that people can at least drive around and pick up the dead. The entire city is racked with debris. People are still in panic there. Earlier this morning, several thousand people stampeded through the town screaming, "The water’s coming again", because there have been constant tremors yesterday afternoon and again today.

 If the conditions are that bad here, you can only imagine how much worse they are beyond here, because 5km outside Aceh, the road to the west and south-west down that western coast towards Malavo is cut - no-one can get any further than that - and every one of those communities along the next few hundred kilometres are totally on their own. They have nothing; they have no hospital support. One man told me he flew over an area where they had an estate of 50 houses and a cement factory in a village only 20km from here [Semen Andalas], and he said there was no evidence of them except a few sticks in the ground. The entire settlement is just sand.

The Indonesia Cement Association reported to CemNet that they have had no contact with Andalas but on a brighter note confirm that Semen Padang much further south has suffered no damage.