Humanitarian Health Action

28 March earthquake: Situation report 6

4 April 2005

Indonesia earthquake 2005
Indonesia earthquake 2005

This report is prepared by WHO Indonesia.

History of the earthquake and place

  • A great earthquake was noted at 23:09:36 hrs, local time at epicenter, on Monday, March 28, 2005. The magnitude was 8.7 on the Richter scale and located in NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA. The epicenter was located 90 km south of Sinabang with 30 Km Depth 2.065 N 97.010 E
  • Evidence emerges that earthquake generated significant tsunami. A US Geological Survey tsunami expert arriving on the scene yesterday said “a tsunami estimated at almost half the size of the one that struck on December 26 hit some areas along the north-west coast of Sumatra. We're getting reports of about four meters in certain areas."
  • The earthquake was also felt in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Cocos Island, Australia
  • More than 700 aftershocks recorded on island of Nias, 48 aftershocks following the initial earthquake, a further 628 over the following two days and 51 in the first eight hours of Thursday.
  • Multiple aftershocks measuring 6.0 or higher in the early hours after initial quake. Latest aftershock reported yesterday at 6.1 and 6.3 in magnitude off of Indonesia's coast, recorded in Hong Kong at 01.05 GMT and 03.16 GMT and was centered about 280 kilometers west-northwest of Padang and south-south southwest of Medan.

Area affected

Major affected areas are the following:

  • Nias Island, Nias Province, Capital Gunung Sitoli, Gido, Gomo and Teluk Dalam (District Capital of South Nias)
  • Simeulue Island, NAD Province
  • Pulau Banyak, NAD Province
  • Singkil, NAD Province

Population at risk

There are no definite estimates of the affected population hit by the earthquake.

Affected population

Nias (North Sumatra Province)
  • 100 reported dead on Simeulue island
  • 177 reported injured and 20 hospitalized on Simeulue Island
  • 40% of the main hospital has been damaged and there is no clean water available.
  • According to preliminary information received by WHO no one has been injured in the fire outbreak reported on 30 March 2005.
  • There is no water supply available in the hospital.
  • Tents are urgently needed to provide health services.
Simeulue (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province)
  • The damage due to earthquake in Simeulue Island is also anticipated to be worse than the initial estimates. There is no definite new feedback as yet on numbers though. No change has been reported in the earlier casualty figures of 17 dead and another 177 injured.
  • It is felt that all injuries have already been treated and that new cases presenting to the health services are mainly regular outpatient cases
  • The estimated number of IDP’s stands at 12,000 although it is actually difficult to estimate it because many people fled to the mountain areas. People express fears about returning back home as Simeulue is experiencing aftershocks
  • Medical support continues to be deemed as adequate with no additional medical personnel required
  • An increase in diarrhoeal disease cases in Sinabang has been reported. At this stage, the situation is being monitored
  • Access across the island is still difficult and no estimate is available of when the road use may be possible again with many bridges and roads are damaged. The airport and the seaport are also damaged and need emergency repair to deliver food and other emergency supplies
  • 80% structural damage outside the capital of Simeulue in areas visited by Care and SCF, the main hospital has been damaged and there is no clean water available.
Pulau Banyak (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province)
  • No new additional feedback is available from Pulau Banyak
  • Peace Winds has returned from a three day visit to three of the Banyak islands and reported no deaths or injured persons.
  • The port remains operational but shows evidence of some damage
  • There is a problem with sea water level that has risen considerably, as the coastal land is believed to have dropped by approximately a meter as a result of last Monday's earthquake
  • People have been forced to abandon their homes as a large number of low-lying houses have been flooded
  • Well water appears to be salinated
  • It is estimated that there are 3,000 IDPs on the islands.
Singkil (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province)
  • An IRC assessment has reported 11 deaths and 28 injured
  • Communication with Singkil is difficult as the telecom office there got destroyed along with the equipment
  • Residents report a rise in sea water level by 1 meter. The risen water is still 200 meters inside the island flooding coastal area
  • PosKo head in Singkil has reportedly placed the IDP’s at 6,000 on the island and 3,000 on the nearby surrounding islands
  • Nearly 16,500 people homeless and are in need of food
  • The town water supply is not working and due to seawater ingress, there is a problem with the well water
  • Damage to both wooden and concrete structures, according to preliminary estimates, is about 80% in Singkil
  • Food, water and generators to supply electricity are the most needed items.

The Impact on Health Service and Health related facilities

  • The hospital in Gunung Sitoli has become operational. It is preparing itself to start receiving patients even from outside.

Central government support

  • The Indonesian government has announced that the emergency phase for this quake would last approximately one month.
  • About 100 doctors and nurses are arriving in Sibolga from Yogya, Pekan Baru and Palembang on the way to Nias.
  • A TNI ship with 5 bulldozers has arrived in Simeulue. The ship will maintain a shuttle service between Banda Aceh and Simeulue
  • Central government has welcomed the support, both medical and logistical, provided by foreign military forces.

WHO / MOH response to the disaster

  • WHO is facilitating a daily health coordination meeting for medical emergency response and emergency medical supplies for the Nias relief operations in Medan
  • WHO has provided IMC with 1 Medical Emergency Kit for their field hospital operation in Nias. One Emergency Health Kit and 2 Surgical Kits have arrived in Nias. The remaining kits will arrive in Nias in the coming days
  • The team leader of WHO in Banda Aceh, Dr. Anshu Banerjee, will be visiting Nias shortly to take stock of the situation and the medical relief efforts going on there
  • WHO’s ground staff in Nias includes a medical co-coordinator, watsan expert, logisticians, health facilities assessor, disease surveillance officer and a communicable disease officer
  • WHO is providing technical support to Provincial Health Office in rapid epidemiological assessment
  • WHO’s role also includes inter-agency coordination of medical relief efforts, dissemination of minimum standards of environmental health and disease surveillance
  • WHO is supporting the Provincial Health Office to identify unmet needs in the health sector
  • WHO is assisting in re-establishment of water treatment systems
  • WHO has added 2 additional Surgical Kits (34 boxes per kit) at the Nias Posko and 3 more in Sibolga as of Saturday morning.
  • 50 tonnes of supplies in form of Emergency Kits and Surgical Kits are to arrive in Jakarta From SEARO tomorrow to be continued to Medan.

WHO in Simeulue

  • WHO has indicated that it expects no further medical trauma cases after the 28 March earthquake
  • Dr. Anshu Banerjee, the WHO Team Leader in Banda Aceh will be visiting Simeulue to take stock of the earthquake situation and the medical relief efforts on the ground
  • WHO will send a Water and Sanitation expert to assist in providing water to the hospital and IDPs.
  • WHO has already provided one Emergency Health Kit, more are available as per the needs.
  • WFP is sending 100 metric tons of food to Simeulue.

Provincial and district response to the disaster

  • Coordination meetings are going on with the Governor and the PHO
  • The PHO in Nias is mapping the health centre catchments areas and assigning NGO’s to work in each catchments area. So far 6 have already been assigned out of the total 28
  • The Local Government has designated 11 hospitals in Medan, 1 Hospital in Central Tapanuli (Pandan Hospital), 1 Hospital in Sibolga as the referral hospital for treatment of earthquake victims. The local government will assess the need to designate up to 25 hospitals as referral hospitals as more injured victims are evacuated from Nias and surrounding areas

Foreign support and response to the disaster

  • The US Naval ship USS Mercy is expected to arrive on 4 April 2005. It will also conduct medical evacuations if needed. No patients will be med evacuated to Medan or Sibilga from then on.
  • Australian Navy face unfortunate tragedy as Sea King Helicopter on route to the Amandraya village on the west coast of Nias from supply ship Kanimbla, carrying personnel crashes, killing 9 people.
  • French Red Cross team arrives with water purification kits, bottled water and generators.
  • Medical support is being provided by medical personnel deployed from Banda Aceh. In addition, support is also provided by IMC and CARE. Medical kit and medicines have been received and more are in the pipeline.
  • Two ship provided by CARE are carrying 220 MT of non food item ( body bag, tents, jerry can etc) to Simeulue
  • The Singaporean Medical team has treated 553 outpatients, mostly with infected/neglected wounds. The Government of Singapore has sent a humanitarian assistance team to Nias Island comprising 3 Chinook helicopters, a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medical team and a Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF), Disaster, Assistance and Rescue Team (DART). The 3 Chinook helicopters will support Indonesia’s transportation needs and carry out medical evacuation in the disaster area. They will be joined by representatives from the Singapore Red Cross and Mercy Relief. The SAF will also deploy a C-130 transport plane to ferry additional personnel and relief supplies.
  • Australia and AusAid coordinate aid through effective SurfAid teams, SurfAid International is still continuing to search and aid villages not yet reached by outside help.
  • Australia said it was flying in additional military medics and supplies after receiving initial reports from an advance team on Nias after having already increased emergency aid yesterday: 3rd RAAF plane, HMAS Kanimbla, 2 Sea King Helicopters, $1 million for aid.
  • Russian Federal Government yesterday to send aid using IL-76 plane through Medan. Consisting of a team of 48 rescuers and medic, bringing transportable medical equipment.
  • JICA (Japan international Cooperation Agency) sends rescue medic team of 11 personnels (doctors, nurses, and paramedics). Also supplies in form of food, drugs and medicine, tents, beds and sleeping bags, electricity generators, water purification tools and other daily tools.
  • The Philippines Government has dispatched a 16-member medical team to the earthquake-affected area. The team will determine the health needs of the victims as well as ensure the supply of safe potable water, set up proper waste disposal and implement food safety measures.
  • UN bodies that continue to participate is aid among others: UN-OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, ION as for international NGOs are OXFAM, CARE, SurfAID, JICA, International Rescue Team, ICRC, also NGO’s from countries such as Singapore, Australia, Poland, Hungary, France etc.

Immediate needs

  • Replacement of medical teams every 48 to 72 hours need to be considered because they get exhausted due to lack of food and water with warm and very humid climate conditions
  • Emergency medical care, trauma care, especially general surgeons and orthopedics for orthopedic injuries, severe crushed injuries, head and spinal trauma.
  • There is still specific need for Tetanus Toxoid
  • Restoration of water supply
  • Electricity generators and infrastructure recovery including electricity and telecommunications
  • Special transportation services to reach affected areas and evacuate critically injured
  • Water and food is urgently needed
  • Rubble removing equipment and metal cutting gear has been identified as an ongoing priority
  • Fuel supply remains a problem leading to distribution bottlenecks
  • Shelter (tents).

Contact persons in Indonesia

The following persons can be contacted if more information is needed.

Name Designation Organization Contact phone Fax E-mail
Dr. Mulya A. Hasjmi Sp. B. Head of Department Center for Emergency preparedness and response (PPMK) MOH 081533764161 021-5271111
Dr. Kyaw Win (Vijay Nath) Medical Officer (Medan) EHA, WHO 021-5204349, 0811933821, 86811020053 (satellite phone) 021-5201164
Dr Anshu Banerjee Field Operations Manager (Banda Aceh) WHO 08121064878 +47-241- 37387

Source of Information from Indonesia

Information is gathered from the following sources and is not subjected for quotation as it might not reflect the actual true facts at the field level but can be used as references.

  • WHO teams in Nias Island, Medan, Banda Aceh and Jakarta.
  • Bakornas bulletin
  • Partners in relief efforts
  • International and local news media