Summary of LIFE’s Response to Indonesian Earthquake
On September 30th, a massive earthquake struck the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, resulting in the death of over 3,000 people, and the injury of thousands more. Hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, mosques, and other buildings were damaged or destroyed by the 7.6 magnitude quake.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, some 134,000 families will remain in need of food assistance over the next month as recovery and rebuilding efforts move forward.
In response to the calls for help sent out by the Indonesian government, LIFE for Relief and Development dispatched a team from LIFE’s regional headquarters in Dubai to the disaster zone in order to provide assistance to survivors.
Upon arriving in country, the LIFE team traveled to the rural district of Padang Pariaman, which was hit hardest by the quake. The team met with survivors and visited a number of local schools, witnessing firsthand the damage and destruction that took place.
The LIFE team was able to partner with local charities and distribute the following among survivors living in five communities:
- 1,000 emergency food baskets containing rice, sugar, oil, and canned meat
- 1,000 hygiene kits containing soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and sanitary napkins.
- 4,000 blankets (4 per family)
On another occasion, the LIFE team assembled a medical convoy consisting of 3 doctors, 3 paramedics, 3 pharmacists, and 6 volunteers to deliver first aid and medicine to survivors living in remote villages. An ambulance was also procured for the convoy.
The convoy made its way deep into the province of Nagari and set up its staging ground in the village of Solok. Word quickly spread throughout Solok and the surrounding villages that help had arrived for the sick and injured.
The team worked for nearly 5 hours straight in Solok, treating illnesses and injuries and dispensing medication.
Villagers were very appreciative of the assistance provided by the convoy, especially given the fact that the LIFE team was the first to reach these remote areas since the earthquake struck. Neither the government nor non-governmental organizations had reached there yet.
One elderly woman expressed great joy over the fact that strangers had come to her rescue, and she pledged, as others did, to pray for all of the donors who made the dispatching of the medical convoy to her village possible.
Also, LIFE provided a grant to the Padang office of the Indonesian Red Crescent Society in order to purchase three truckloads of medicine, which were to be distributed among hundreds of villagers living in remote areas of western Sumatra.
Lastly, the LIFE team came to the aid of a school in Padang that was paralyzed by the effects of the earthquake and the loss of all its supplies and educational materials. To help the school reopen its doors, LIFE purchased enough supplies and materials to cover the needs of all 670 students attending the school.