Monday, November 21st, 2022 was the day that an earthquake struck Indonesia’s most populous island. According to the U.N., the epicenter of the magnitude-5.6 earthquake occurred in Cianjur Regency in West Java. It killed more than 300 people and injured thousands.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, strong aftershocks caused more damage to buildings and hampered relief efforts. While emergency workers attempted to find people trapped in the debris, hospitals were badly damaged and had lost their electricity. This further hampered rescue efforts. Many of the victims were children who were attending schools that had fallen. Mercy Corps Indonesia Response Team provided immediate support to communities in Cianjur that urgently required food, water, shelter, and other essential services.
Mercy Corps distributed 100 blankets and blankets to Ciwalen Village in Warungkondang to help rebuild homes. They also continued to work with local officials to expand support to other communities. Mercy Corps is helping to reduce waterborne diseases by coordinating clean water access. For example, the Mercy Corps team set up a water point at Cijedil Village to allow community members to wash dishes and clothes as well as bathe their children.
Ade Soekadis (Executive Director of Mercy Corps Indonesia) stated that they will quickly distribute aid to the most vulnerable families in Cianjur after conducting a needs analysis. It is difficult to provide clean water and meet nutritional needs during disasters. We can hopefully help the affected communities to meet their needs and increase the area’s economy by what we do.
According to the Indonesia Disaster Risk Index, Cianjur is one the most at-risk areas for natural disasters in Indonesia. Because it is an agricultural region, the region is susceptible to landslides. Indonesia’s geographical location on the Pacific Ring of Fire has seen hundreds of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
Two weeks after the earthquake, Mount Semeru, at the other end, erupted, burying nearby villages in volcanic dust. According to the U.N., almost 2,000 people were forced from their homes with no casualties. This was one year after Mount Semeru’s deadly eruption that killed nearly 60 people and displaced thousands of people. Mercy Corps Indonesia Response Team provided emergency assistance to hundreds of families rebuild and recover from the aftermath of the 2021 disaster.
Mercy Corps has been working in Indonesia for over 20 years. Its Indonesia Response Team has provided emergency and long-term support for communities following recent natural disasters such as the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake, and the 2016 Aceh earthquake. The Indonesia Response Team is well-equipped to provide critical support in emergencies and connect with communities to address their immediate needs.