Charity Reaches Indonesian Islands Stranded by Tsunami

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PADANG, Indonesia - Stormy weather has been making it difficult for rescuers and relief groups from reaching stranded islands, weeks after a deadly tsunami hit Indonesia Oct. 25.

The earthquake-triggered tsunami devastated at least seven villages in the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra. Hundreds of houses are gone, and the disaster has left at least 450 people dead. More than 200 are missing and some 4,000 people are left homeless and helpless.

Two teams from the Christian charity Operation Blessing International have managed to get into the country and are providing aid to many victims. Operation Blessing workers took a 14-hour boat ride through rough seas to get to the hard to reach islands.

Operation Blessing distributed food, clothes, medicine, and supplies to the survivors. Doctors with the team also provided medical care.

The Mentawai Health Agency said more help is needed since there are more patients than doctors. Thousands more bags of relief goods are on their way to the islands.

Operation Blessing workers say they'll remain in the area long term to help survivors recover from the tragedy.

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Lucille Talusan

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