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Oxfam team in Nias sees major infrastructure damage

Oxfam's rapid response emergency assessment team have begun their assessment of the earthquake damage in Nias.

Oxfam staff are currently in the town of Gunungsitoli which appears to have been one of the worst hit areas.

The town's water supplies have failed as a result of the earthquake with the electricity grid having collapsed and the pumps operating the water system no longer working. As a result 20,000 people in the city are without water.

Oxfam staff have just arrived at a mosque that is currently serving as a morgue and as a temporary shelter for displaced people. Oxfam's assessment team are currently talking to the affected people and drawing up lists of their needs. 34 bodies have already been brought to this one mosque.

The town's roads have also collapsed making transport by car impossible. Oxfam staff and emergency workers are having to move around the area by motorbike. There are also reports of food shortages.

Alessandra Villas-Boas, a member of Oxfam's assessment team said, "We're urgently trying to do a basic needs assessment. Clearly the failure of the water system and the collapse of the roads here are major issues. The water system has failed completely and huge holes have been made in the roads. Bodies are being pulled from the rubble as I speak."

Article type: 
Press release