International Medical Corps has sent an emergency response team to Indonesia following a series of powerful earthquakes that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday, September 28. The largest quake, a powerful magnitude 7.5, triggered a tsunami that hit nearby coastlines, including the coastal city of Palu. The massive earthquake was centered about 35 miles northeast of Donggala and 50 miles north of Palu, which have a combined population of more than 600,000 people. More than 1,200 people have died, and authorities fear that the death toll could rise sharply as news arrives from remote areas. International aid agencies estimate that more than 1.6 million people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Reported needs include clean water, food, fuel, medicines, and medical personnel.
“The International Medical Corps team currently on the ground in Indonesia is assessing needs, mobilizing its network of partner organizations and planning its immediate response and recovery activities,” said Kevin Noone, Vice President, Global Emergency Response. “Given International Medical Corps’ history of providing aid in the country, we will be able to quickly mount a response providing assistance across a range of disciplines.”
International Medical Corps has deep experience providing healthcare services and training in Indonesia, having first deployed to the nation in 2000, when we established an emergency healthcare program in North Maluku. We then expanded to other areas following crises in Maluku, West and Central Kalimantan, Madura Island, North and Central Sulawesi, and North Sumatra. In 2004, International Medical Corps was among the first international relief organizations to reach Indonesia’s hard-hit Aceh region following the Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed approximately 230,000 lives. We provided a broad range of healthcare services—including emergency medicine, trauma surgery, and maternal and child health—in some of the worst-hit communities of that disaster.