May 29, 2006
May 29, 2006 – On Saturday, May 27, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook Java island in Indonesia. According to UN agencies, the earthquake left more than 5,000 people dead, an estimated 20,000 injured, and some 200,000 homeless. The epicenter has been reported close to the town of Bantul (two hours by car from Yogyakarta). The most affected areas are Bantul, Yogyakarta, and Klaten. Since Saturday, there have been more than 450 aftershocks and about 35,000 buildings in and around Yogyakarta have been reduced to rubble.
Power blackouts and overnight rain hampered rescue work and further affected people left homeless by the disaster. In addition to the difficulties caused by damaged infrastructure, heavy rains in the area are delaying deliveries of food, slowing rescue operations, and forcing many people to return to damaged homes to seek shelter. Most of the initial response to the disaster has been carried out by local rescue workers and medical personnel.
MSF currently has 35 staff present in the earthquake-affected area, including surgeons, doctors, nurses, psychologists, logisticians, and water and sanitation experts.
After carrying out an initial assessment in the general hospital of Yogyakarta on Sunday, the first MSF team decided to move to the most heavily affected areas around Bantul, the epicenter of the earthquake. Bantul area is divided into 17 sub-districts, seven of which have been heavily damaged by the quake.
In Bantul area, at least 10 camps have been set up, but most of the homeless are refusing to leave the few possessions they have managed to salvage. Most are poor farmers and laborers.
The MSF teams are currently identifying the areas where they can best provide care for the wounded. On Monday, a team visited the seven most damaged districts in Bantul area. Local health structures are in need of medical supplies, medical staff, and tents to house patients. MSF has
donated medicines and medical suppliesto the hospitals and to the Indonesian Red Cross.
Tomorrow, three MSF mobile clinics will start working in Bantul area.
surgical teamas well as additional medical staff and logisticians arrived yesterday in Yogyakarta.
mental health teamcomposed of two psychologists arrived yesterday in the area and began assessing the needs in Klaten area. An additional mental health team composed of three psychologists is on stand-by.
MSF Relief Cargos
On Monday evening, a full MSF charter plane containing approximately 35 tons of medical supplies, a field hospital, generators, tents, and non-food items for about 2000 families, will be departing for Indonesia from Bordeaux, France. A second cargo of 28 tons of medical and logistical supplies will leave from Belgium in the coming days.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)