Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 19:24 UK

US helicopter flies in aid boxes

ShelterBox in Sumatra
The helicopter was used after roads were damaged by landslides

A helicopter from the US Navy has delivered aid boxes from a Cornish charity to earthquake-hit West Sumatra.

Forty-five ShelterBoxes were flown to the village of Hulu Banda in the Agam region after air reconnaissance identified communities most in need.

Many roads were badly damaged by landslides after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake about two weeks ago, cutting off hillside villages.

ShelterBox said it appreciated the navy's "rapid support".

ShelterBox response team volunteer Shane Revill said: "We have been delivering aid by road for the last week.

"However, many roads were badly damaged by the landslides which wiped out entire villages, and the survivors in these hillside regions had received little aid to assist them.

'Most marginalised'

"We had to find a way to reach those who most urgently required aid."

The US Navy, which had ships based off the coast of Padang, the epicentre of the earthquake, undertook aerial surveys of some of the most affected areas.

Two ShelterBox response team members flew with the navy and identified the communities most in need.

A landing site was identified near the village and the boxes delivered with enough aid to assist 450 people.

Response team member Becky Maynard said: "This provided enough shelter to accommodate the most marginalised in the village, where there were a number of elderly people and children who had been sheltering in what was left of their homes.

"We only hope that by providing this shelter we can bring some small hope to the survivors of this tragedy."

The boxes include tents which can sleep 10 people, sleeping bags, as well as survival and cooking equipment.



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