ACTNews, BANDA ACEH – Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) Aceh took part in responding to the emergency situation after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi. The team of volunteers consisted of five members: dr. Teuku Muhammad Iqbal as medical volunteer, Zulfikar and Mursalin as aid distribution and assessment volunteers, Ibnu Khaldun and Rozi as rescue volunteers.
The five volunteers departed on Sunday (10/7) afternoon from Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport in Blang Bintang to Soekarno – Hatta Airport in Tangerang and continued their journey to Makassar the next day (10/8). The team arrived at Makassar at 7 a.m. Central Indonesia Standard Time.
Husaini Ismail, Branch Managar of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Aceh stated, the dispatch of the five volunteers is to assist the victims of earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Sigi and Donggala because many of the affected victims are still in need of help.
“ACT-MRI volunteers are being sent from all across Indonesia, consisting of medical volunteers, assessment teams, etc. Alhamdulillah, on Monday (10/8) ACT has just sent 1,000 tons of aid consisting of rice, groceries, clean water, medical supplies, blankets, tents, etc. from Surabaya. Insha Allah, ACT Aceh will accept any aid to be donated to Central Sulawesi. Everyone shall act to alleviate the sadness of our brothers and sisters who were afflicted with disasters,” stated Ismail.
Upon their arrival in Makassar, the volunteers from Aceh joined other eighteen ACT volunteers from all across Indonesia that had arrived earlier.
“When we arrived in Makassar, we all gathered on Indonesian Air Force’s airfield to continue our journey to Palu by Hercules airplane,” said Zulfikar, an assessment volunteer.
Zulfikar added that prior to her departure to Palu to become a volunteer, he had made many preparations, including mental preparation. “Mental strength is our main resource in volunteering in disaster-hit locations. What we face in the field is not the normal situation,” said the man who also volunteered after the earthquake that struck Pidie Jaya.
All of the volunteers are assigned to their respective teams based on their expertise and abilities. They will be assigned to their respective teams and locations once they arrive in ACT Main Post in Palu City.
At the moment, evacuation is still one of ACT’s Emergency Response team’s priorities. The difficult terrain, damaged structures and thick layer of mud have made it difficult to evacuate dead bodies. Many of them were already decomposing, making immediate burial necessary to prevent health risks.
Additionally, Public Kitchens have also been set up in several evacuation posts in Palu, Sigi and Donggala. There are still many other needs to be fulfilled after the disasters had left tens of thousands displaced.