Urgent Help Requested
West Sulawesi Earthquake
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the Majene Regency, in the province of West Sulawesi, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on 15 January 2021, at 18:28 GMT (1:38 PM EST). This earthquake was felt as far away as Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, and Palu in Central Sulawesi. Buildings were destroyed in neighboring cities. As of time of writing (Jan 23, 2021) at least 105 people are confirmed dead, more than 3,300 are injured and about 40,000 people are directly affected and displaced in Mamuju and Majene Districts. Health care teams are establishing outdoor clinics due to concern over the stability of remaining buildings.
Major damage occurred in the cities of Mamuju and Majene which are more than 60 miles apart (150 miles by road). The epicenter was located in a remote area located between the two cities. The telecommunications reportedly went down and blackouts were reported as multiple power stations were damaged in the earthquake. AirNav Indonesia reported that its office in Mamuju Tampa Padang Airport was severely damaged in the earthquake. The ATC tower in the airport was also damaged preventing much needed help arriving by airplane.
A section of Mirta Manakarra Hospital, a main hospital in Majene collapsed, while Mamuju’s main hospital also reportedly suffered extensively, with 50% of its structure were reportedly damaged by the earthquake. Hundreds of patients are now treated outside of the hospital due to fear of collapse. GHN was told three Community Health Centres had been destroyed by the earthquake.
Indonesia reported its highest single-day number of COVID-19 cases on January 16, confirming more than 14,200 cases. Prior to the earthquake the West Sulawesi region was already experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The nearby Mamuju District Hospital reportedly went into lockdown a week before the earthquake after more than 75 staff tested positive for COVID-19. The ERT reports that the evacuation sites are not set up for effective social distancing, lack sufficient COVID-19 screening systems, and remain under equipped with personal protective equipment for both those residing in the camps as well as for administrators and camp medical staff. This dual crisis in West Sulawesi heightens the risk of a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.
Urgent Help Requested
Ulumanda Community Health Center
It is in this remote location where the Ulumanda Community Health Center was destroyed by the earthquake. GHN have been in close contact for a number of years with medical and dental personnel who work with this clinic. Dr. Pri and Dr. Cipto are asking for our help to care for the needs of the people from numerous villages in their remote area. Those who are more severely injured are driven to a regional hospital at some distance. Cases of trauma, respiratory infection, skin infections, eye problems, fever, even labor etc. are treated under a temporary canopy which serves in the place of the destroyed clinic.
Global HelpNet has a working agreement in place with an Indonesian non-profit organization to carefully administer the relief funds which are sent.
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