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Heavy rain delays Mercy trip to Nias

Thursday March 31, 2005

Heavy rain delays Mercy trip to Nias

PETALING JAYA: Mercy Malaysia is all set to go to Nias island in Sumatra to help the earthquake victims but the trip by one group has been hampered by bad weather. 

Mercy Malaysia president Dr Jemilah Mahmood said the airport runway on Nias was still closed and the humanitarian organisation had to charter helicopters to fly its team – one group from here and the other from Aceh – to the island. 

She said the group from here had wanted to leave yesterday morning but heavy rain had delayed their departure till 8am today . 

However, four team members (two logistics members, a doctor and a psychiatrist) from Aceh left for Nias last evening from Medan. 

“We have four more members (including two orthopaedic surgeons) from here who will be backing up our team from Medan,” she said. 

“Most of our medical supplies will be brought from our base in Aceh,” she said. 

She added that since the team could communicate in Bahasa Indonesia, it would be an advantage in carrying their relief work. 

“We hope to be able to give immediate help on site while the United Nations is busy evacuating those who are injured to Medan or other places.” 

Dr Jemilah said the combined eight-member team would help the medical staff at the hospital in Gunung Sitoli, one of the badly affected areas in Nias.  

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