ASEAN Secretariat, 5 October 2009
The Secretary-General of ASEAN will tomorrow visit the quake-hit city of Padang to find out for himself how ASEAN can assist the Government of Indonesia in dealing with the disaster.
Dr Surin Pitsuwan will also get a first-hand overview of the latest situation in the wake of the 7.6 magnitude quake that hit much of the West Sumatra province from the relevant government authorities including the Governor of West Sumatra and the Mayor of Padang. He will be joined by the Head of the country’s National Disaster Management Agency, who is the focal point of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) for Indonesia.
Dr Surin, who is also the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, will be accompanied by representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat and the interim ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), which is based in Jakarta.
Over the weekend, Dr Surin had also sent his envoy, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community, Sayakane Sisouvong, to the Philippines, which was hit by Tropical Storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) on 26 September 2009, causing massive flooding and displacement of thousands of people.
While visiting the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage caused by the storm, Mr Sayakane met Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral and other officials and informed them on the newly-established ASEAN Cooperation Fund for Emergency Relief. He also took the opportunity to reassure the Philippines of ASEAN’s support in the wake of the disaster.