Intense search & rescue activities on the ground as authorities scramble to find people under rubble of buildings and retrieve dead bodies.
Over 16,000 people are now rendered homeless and in need of temporary housing.
At 9.40 this morning, Indonesia President Jokowi Widodo declared that they will accept foreign aid for Sulawesi in view of the massive destruction.
This allows Mercy Malaysia to widen our scope of response and reach to the communities affected.
As soon as the news was received, we have started assembling an Emergency Medical Team (EMT), which will be deployed tomorrow with a logistician.
The 6 team members are medical officers Dr Jasmine Avalani , Dr Jefri Irwan Harris Gunawan, and Sockalingam Thanimalay, nurses Zaleha Ahmad and Nur Hasanah, and logistician Mohamed Noor Suleiman.
Travel arrangements remain problematic. Although Palu airport is now reopened to commercial flights, flights are mostly full. Similarly other flights are facing congestion with well-wishers, media, humanitarian workers and disaster tourists making their way there for ‘first-hand experience’.
Mercy Malaysia will still be working with our Indonesian partner, PKPU human initiative, to facilitate our ground programmes.
Immediate medical needs would include wound treatment and ambulatory care (diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment, intervention, and rehabilitation services).
Another team of psychosocial specialists will be sent in the next mission to help affected people cope with the trauma and grief. This is expected to be within this week or next week.
Donations to be made to Palu relief fund (mbb 5621 7950 4126) on Malaysia's website mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted