The Indonesian Red Cross has deployed relief and emergency teams after thousands of families in Indonesia’s West Java province were impacted by the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the area Monday. Thousands of houses, schools, infrastructure, roads and more have been severely damaged.
Indonesian Red Cross relief and emergency teams are helping with evacuations, providing first aid, distribute clean water, establish emergency kitchens and emergency relief in the most affected areas. The Red Cross also mobilized five units of ambulance, medical personnel and volunteers to help with urgent evacuations and ground assessment.
Reports indicate the quake may have destroyed more than 22,000 homes, displacing over 58,000 people who are seeking safety in various emergency shelters. More than 260 people were killed, more than 150 are still missing and more than 1,000 people were injured in the densely populated area.
The numbers are still emerging as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah) are working with authorities to urgently assess the situation and gather more information. Red Cross personnel continue to respond as landslides, electricity and telecommunications outages occur.
The earthquake hit the district of Cianjur. While the earthquake did not trigger tsunami warnings, the people of West Java are no strangers to earthquakes and are doing all they can to stay vigilant for aftershocks and dangerous falling debris.
The Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross, Sudirman Said, said that he was devastated to learn of the lives lost. “We are doing all we can to ensure no more lives are lost. We are ensuring that our volunteers and personnel do all they can to help people seek safety and comfort at our emergency shelters where critical relief can be found. We would also urge people to stay calm and to contact authorities for help,” he said.
IFRC Head of Delegation, Indonesia, Elkhan Rahimov, said that he and his colleagues are working closely with the Indonesian Red Cross to assess the situation and determine the immediate needs of the affected community. Volunteers at the frontline are also prioritizing their safety as they work around the clock to help people get to safety.
“Our first main priority is to serve the affected community by meeting their immediate needs like access to drinking water, shelter and administering first aid. We are focusing our efforts on these while we plan our next phase of longer-term assistance,” he said.