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Operation Palu – Days 6-10

On 28 September 2018, a shallow, large earthquake struck in the neck of the Minahasa Peninsula, Indonesia, with its epicentre located in the mountainous Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi.

Location: Palu, Indonesia – 2018
Disaster Relief: Multiple Earthquakes + Tsunami + Liquifaction
Casualties: 7,000+

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project

Day 6-7 -HARP had a long, but very productive last 5 days… We revisited the IDP camp where we supplied medical care. Update on that… The man is back from the hospital and is all smiles with his family all around him. He has been treated and is currently regaining his health.

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project
Back from the hospital happy and with his family recovering

While there, we installed PVC piping into a pre-existing borehole, to extract the groundwater. This now provides them with clean water to drink, shower, and clean their clothes!

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project
Borehole installed in IDP camp to provide water for drinking and washing

We also installed a water pump in a nearby building, with 3/4 inch pvc piping. This ran into a cistern, to collect and dispense water for the same purposes.

One thing we noticed on assessment, was the large need for sanitation. The people had no place to use the restroom. We solved this with the construction of a building containing 6 separate restrooms.

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project - Palu, Indonesia
Sanitation construction and installment begins

The local people were a large help with physical labor.

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project - Burke Bryant - Palu Indonesia
Sanitation installment complete. Time for construction

We worked together, sharing our knowledge, to get it done in just 1 day.

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project - Burke Bryant - Palu Indonesia
A bay of 6 toilets and sanitation almost complete

At the IDP camp where we have been laying our heads, the lovely women have been cooking up a storm. Each day, they provide the 200 or so people here with 3 delicious meals. They cook for everyone in large woks, and serve each person before eating themselves. With the large demand, they were in need of an extra stove, and some cooking supplies. We purchased these items for them, as well as some rice, chicken and other food items.

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project - Palu Indonesia
Kitchen items purchased and now being used to feed 200+ people each day

A huge thank you to our very generous supporters!… also to our hardworking teammates back home, who get little to no sleep, supporting us in the field! We’re very grateful you have our backs! You are our lifelines.

Day 8…

Today we took motorcycles deep into the mountains of Potobo, Indonesia… What we found there, is going to break your heart!

On our way to a remote village at the top of the mountain, we stopped at a small camp on the side of the dirt road. Here, we found 25 people living in terrible conditions… But it’s the life of 1 little girl, which puts everything into perspective…

Meet Malea… This beautiful and innocent little face… She lost her mother in the most horrible way… After the earthquake hit, the ground under her home liquified, and many around her died, including her mother. Her mother was pregnant at the time. Malea was found in the rubble 13 hours later, holding tight to her mother’s lifeless body. She is just 4 years old!

Burke Bryant and Malea - Palu Indonesia
Burke and Malea. Rescued after 13 days next to her passed pregnant mother under rubble

We found her crying and confused. She had burns and lacerations on her arms, shoulders, and stomach.

Burke Bryant checks Malea for any internal injuries. External lacerations and scarring present
Burke checks Malea for any internal injuries. External lacerations and scarring present

It is not just Malea and her neighbors who need help. There are about 2,500+ people staying in this remote area, displaced from their homes, with nothing to go back to…

They are sick with medical conditions that need immediate attention. HARP is working hard to bring them clean drinking water, water filtration systems, food, clothing, shelter and more… the basic human needs that we all take for granted. We want to give Malea the life that she deserves, a safe place to live, a proper roof over her head, an education.

Dirty drinking water - Palu Indonesia
Dirty drinking water the people are forced to pay for and drink to survive

It is all thanks to your generous donations that we are able to help Malea, and everyone here in this small remote village.

A BIG thank you to Meylin! She worked right alongside us, helping to break through the language barrier, so we can get these beautiful people the help they need.

More to come, later today…

Days 9 & 10…

Behind the smiles of Indonesia, is what you don’t see… There are thousands of people still suffering, waiting for help here. No clean drinking water, low access to food and sanitation, dislocated arms, broken ribs and legs, deep lacerations, head trauma, and more…

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project works on a victim in the Palu, Indonesia earthquake
One of the dozens of people treated during out mission

The news back home shows a few segments of the physical damage, then moves on to something else… They show broken bridges, and water in the streets… but on the ground, it’s a whole different story. What they don’t show you is behind the scenes.

Here is the behind the scenes… The last 2 days, we traveled over 24 hours on motorcycles, through pouring rain, across rocky dirt roads, and up steep muddy mountains, to reach those who are broken and forgotten. As I write this, I can barely keep my eyes open.

Burke Bryant and Alex Galonski from Backpacker Medics work on an earthquake victim
Burke Bryant and Alex Galonski from Backpacker Medics work on an earthquake victim

The people here can’t get to the hospital for help, because they can’t make it there, or in many cases, don’t even have the money. We visited multiple IDP camps, and went house to house treating countless people. Here are just a few of them…

Ryan Bartholomew aids a young boy in Palu, Indonesia
Ryan Bartholomew provides medical aid for a young boy

A 5-year-old boy, with a dislocated shoulder, did all he could to be stoic, and not cry in pain as he was diagnosed. The parents couldn’t afford to take him to the hospital… HARP is taking care of the transportation and treatment costs, to help this little boy!

Burke Bryant checks the back and wounds of an earthquake victim
Burke Bryant checks the back and wounds of an earthquake victim

At a home nearby was a 52-year-old woman, with problems breathing, and pain in her back… Next, we found a man in his mid 20’s, with a cracked rib, and multiple skin abrasions… Then a 55-year-old woman, with a deep laceration on her head, and a bruised and swollen arm. Her home had fallen on top of her!

Burke Bryant and Ryan Bartholomew providing medical aid to a line of injured people

On to a 64-year-old man, with a foot that had been crushed during the liquefaction of the Potobo neighborhood. He had no feeling in his toes and also needed to be transported to the hospital.

So many are hidden out here, bruised and broken, with so little help available to them. That is why we are here… doing all we can, to reach every person possible…

Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project
Man found with an infected laceration. We cleaned and sutured

Thank you to our constant supporters! Without you, we could never reach all these people. You make the difference!

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