December 7, 2016 at 05:03 WIB a strong earthquake with a magnitude 6.5 hit the Aceh province in Sumatra Island of Indonesia. The shock was reported to be at a depth of 8.2 km and the epicenter was located near the village of Reuleut in Pidie-Jaya regency. It is located about 164km (102mile) southeast of the province's capital, Banda Aceh. At least 102 people died in the quake, with at least 1,000 people injured and many more were forced to evacuate.
The earthquake struck early morning while many people were still asleep or preparing for Morning Prayer. People panicked and ran through the streets as the earthquake struck, with eyewitnesses stating that most people were crying and screaming as their memories of 2004 massive earthquake were triggered. Many stated that the shaking was similar to the 2004 quake and thus hundreds of people evacuated to higher ground, fearing repetition of a tsunami.
Even though the earthquake was categorized as a shallow earthquake, the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics announced that there was no immediate threat of a tsunami. Thought the quake was felt in the entire Aceh region, the shaking that lasted for 10-15 seconds was strongly felt in Pidie and Pidie Jaya Regency.
In the initial hours after the earthquake, structures across Aceh were reported to be severely damaged. The dome of Pidie`s central Mosque (Samalanga Mosque) collapsed and massive communication and power outages were felt throughout Pidie and Pidie Jaya as telephone and electrical poles tumbled. Several houses also collapsed and roads were damaged due the quake. Photos of destroyed houses and buildings were circulated on social media. According to the latest data from National Disaster Management Board, more than 680 structures were either destroyed or damaged. Many people were seriously injured in this incident. They were transported to Sigli and Bireuen Hospital.
Based on the initial information received from other organizations on the ground and government centers, AMDA Indonesia decided to organize immediate assistance for early recovery. Initial observation also showed signs of trauma among survivors and several of them showed signs of apprehension to enter indoors due to fear of aftershocks. Some of the survivors who have lost close family members, friends or neighbors are also in need of psychosocial support
Observational surveys and secondary data showed a substantial impact on health facilities, including Pidie Jaya Hospital, resulting in the disruption of health services. The capacity of facilities that were intact was stretched to their limit, especially with increasing number of earthquake related injuries. To ensure continued delivery of health services in severely affected areas, there was a need for deployment of emergency health units with standardized medicine, paramedics and equipment. To address these needs, AMDA decided to provide first aid and medical services to them.
8 December 2016 the team of two doctors (Anesthesiologists) departed from Makassar and arrived in Banda Aceh, After 110km and 3 hours of drive the team finally arrived at Sigli Hospital. The team worked with the Orthopedic team from Hasanuddin University for the next couple of days and provided anesthesia service for orthopedic surgeries at Sigli Hospital. There were 5 patients who went through surgery with the help of jont-team. The team also took the time to do a need analysis in the region and temporary camps and bought some necessary items to distibute in the camp. AMDA Indonesia team distributed baby food and kids toys at Gampong-Blang-Cut camp in Pidie. There were about 150 people at the came and our team conducted mobile clinic for the next two days. The number of patients on the first day was 101 and the second day, 88.
The Team successfully completed their mission on the 13th of December and returned to Makassar on the 15th of December. According to the team, refugess in Gampong Blang Cut expressed their gratitute for AMDA for helping them after disaster.