Oxfam assessment team on way to Nias

Oxfam International team is now on its way to Nias - an Indonesian island close to the epicentre of this morning’s earthquake off the coast of the island of Sumatra. Reports indicate hundreds of dead, extensive structural damage to homes and infrastructure including the airport.

An assessment team including an engineer and an emergency response specialist will fly by helicopter to the island from Banda Aceh at 9am local time (4am Wednesday NZ time). The assessment mission will be dispatched from Oxfam's response headquarters in Banda Aceh. The team have until now been working on Oxfam's Tsunami relief response and continues with its activities today.

Alessandra Boas, Oxfam spokesperson who will be part of the assessment mission, said “It is crucial that we get to Nias Island as quickly as possible. It is still too early to know what we will find when we land on the island, our job will be to quickly assess the scale of the damage and how we can help.

“Clearly this is the last thing people in the region needed, so soon after the devastating Tsunami.”

It will take three hours to fly to the island from Banda Aceh and the team will return late in the evening.

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