With devastating scenes of the Asian Tsunami aftermath on 26 December 2004 still deeply embedded in the minds of many, Indonesia was again struck by a strong earthquake measuring 8.7 Richter Scale which occurred in Sumatra, Indonesia on Monday, 28 March 2005.
Nias Island in Indonesia, the hardest hit area in this recent earthquake, suffered loss of human lives and destruction to numerous homes. Many multi-storey buildings in the main city of Gunung Sitoli had collapsed with hundreds of people trapped in the rubbles.
Barely three months after two SCDF Operation Lion Heart contingents were activated simultaneously to aid Thailand and Indonesia in search efforts during the December Asian Tsunami disaster, the Lion Hearts again responded to Nias Island.
During the 10-day operation from 29 March – 7 April 05, the 40-man contingent, led by MAJ Anwar Abdullah, Commander 2nd CD Division, rescued two casualties and recovered 13 bodies from the disaster site. Apart from the search and rescue operations, the Contingent also rendered other forms of humanitarian assistance, including supporting the SAF medical staff who treated local casualties; and assisting the local Indonesian Police in its clearance of heavy obstruction at arterial roads to facilitate vehicular movement.