HELPING HAND: SurfAid founder and medical director Dr Dave Jenkins treats a Mentawai woman.
HELPING HAND: SurfAid founder and medical director Dr Dave Jenkins treats a Mentawai woman.

Byron fundraiser to help SurfAid

A FUNDRAISER to help SurfAid International continue its humanitarian work in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia will be held at The Brewery in Byron Bay next Thursday, September 1.

SurfAid International was a leading agency in the emergency response to the Mentawai Islands tsunami which struck nearly 10 months ago and claimed the lives of 500 people and displaced another 15,000.

Experts, however, have predicted a much larger earthquake and tsunami for the Sumatran region – one that could rival the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.

Earth Observatory of Singapore director Kerry Sieh and his colleagues have predicted that an earthquake of up to 8.8 in magnitude could be expected off the western coast of Sumatra within a few decades.

SurfAid founder and medical director Dr Dave Jenkins said it was very important that the coastal communities in the islands were prepared.

“While more than 500 people died in the tsunami, we lost only nine people in villages where we had worked,” he said.

“After the earthquake people in our villages escaped quickly to the hills along prepared tracks and in an efficient manner, thanks to the drills we had facilitated.”

Since the October tsunami, SurfAid has been rolling out a series of programs, including psychological support, health, clean water, shelter and emergency preparedness for which the agency has won awards in Indonesia.

The fundraiser at The Brewery will start at 7pm and will be attended by Dr Jenkins, who will give a presentation on SurfAid’s work in the Mentawais. Entry is by donation. Visit http://www.surfaidinternational.org/ for details.

About SurfAid

SurfAid International is a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.


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