Three days after a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra leaving close to 1,000 dead, approximately 3,000 missing and more than 3,000 wounded, the first Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams arrived to the area on Saturday, October 3. About 20 workers – including surgeons, kidney specialists, nurses, psychologists and logisticians – have started to assess the needs in the city of Padang and in the surrounding area.
Massive aid – sent by the Indonesian authorities and from abroad – has already reached Padang, the major city in the region and one of the most affected by the earthquake. MSF first assessed the situation in the city’s hospitals, where significant aid has already been provided. MSF teams have also started evaluating other parts of the region.
An area of great concern is the city of Pariaman, one of the most affected towns, located approximately 50 kilometres north of Padang. Several villages in the surrounding rural areas have been completely destroyed by landslides and are difficult to reach. As relief materials are on their way to Sumatra, MSF teams will focus their efforts on trying to access the areas where aid is still lacking and identify the most urgent needs.