NEWS RELEASE #8: MERCY Malaysia leads NGO coordination efforts to Palu 

Kuala Lumpur, 9 October 2018… Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA) coordinated the deployment of humanitarian assistance to disaster-struck Central Sulawesi, with MERCY Malaysia tasked to facilitate the distributions of relief items upon arrival. Four Malaysian NGOs – MERCY Malaysia, Disaster Aid, Yayasan Inai and Volunteer Malaysia (formerly known as IM4U) – had been involved in this joint partnership.

A total of 4,416 kgs of relief items comprising medical items, feminine care products, personal care products, sleeping bags and temporary shelters were sent off by TUDM’s C-130 at the Subang Royal Malaysia Air Force Base at 5 pm.

MERCY Malaysia’s items consisted of assets for the establishment of a Field Hospital, which will be set up at an area in Palu which has yet to receive medical care. Many areas still do not have access to medical services because the roads or bridges have crashed. Many people are also afraid of going to the hospital because they do not want to see dead bodies.

The EMT team had yesterday visited Sigi, one of the worst-hit areas which had experienced a rare geographical phenomenon known as ‘liquefaction’. This is where the soil practically melted away in wave-like motions. The liquefaction had totally changed the landscape of the area, with a corn field that was previously located on a hill top now located at the foothill where a paddy field used to be.

The paddy field is now nowhere to be seen, and local authorities have reported that an estimated 5,000 people are still unaccountable for in that area.

Meanwhile, the medical team continued conducting mobile clinics to two or three different locations daily. Yesterday, 95 patients were treated for various conditions, the most common being injuries, cold and colds, respiratory and skin infections.

With logistics and transportation still a major problem, the team used whatever resources and areas to set up clinics, sometimes at the homes of villagers, mosques, open fields, even under a tree by the sea. Patients in the town area even visit the medical team at night back at the base camp at Donggala to seek help for their medical conditions.

Urgent funds are needed to help the people affected, and every bit will make a difference. Donations collected stand at RM461,107.53, with RM211,114 being spent to date.

Contributions can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08) or through www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Chan Li Jin        E: lijin.chan@mercy.org.my  /    M:+6012-325 2067