Indonesian government rescue effort after the 6.5 magnitude earthquake

World Today

After a devastating 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled the regency of Pidie Jaya in Aceh, more than 20,000 are now left homeless. The Indonesian Government is providing as much as they can to the victims and survivors in desperate need of support.

After a devastating 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled the regency of Pidie Jaya in Aceh, more than 20,000 are now left homeless. The Indonesian Government is providing as much as they can to the victims and survivors in desperate need of support.

CCTV’s Silkina Ahluwalia spoke to the survivors in Pidie Jaya, Aceh.

Indonesian government rescue effort after the 6.5 magnitude earthquake

After a devastating 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled the regency of Pidie Jaya in Aceh, more than 20,000 are left homeless. Volunteer doctors and the Indonesian government are providing as much as they can to victims and survivors in desperate need of support. CCTV's Silkina Ahluwalia spoke to the survivors in Pidie Jaya, Aceh.

A town buried deep under the rubble.

The air is thick with dust and the atmosphere is anything but hopeful. Rescue operations have been working tirelessly for the past four days searching for any glimpse of life under this destruction.

An earthquake victim named Zahrina is picking up the pieces of what was supposed to be a new beginning, a new life for her family of four. She is one among 20,000 people who have been displaced as a result of this powerful earthquake.

“I haven’t seen my husband in four days. He is still traumatized by what this earthquake has done to our lives,” said Zahrina. “We have experienced it twice now, first the tsunami in 2004 and now this. It is unbearable,”

Now she spends her time at a temporary shelter with her two children, waiting for the day she can step into her home once again. A home that is now in ruins.

“I hope the government can help me rebuild my home. I don’t have any money left. I spent all of my savings to build a house and now it is destroyed,” said Zahrina.

The Indonesian government is trying to mobilize help across the regencies affected by this quake, mainly in Cubo, a small town on the outskirts of Pidie Jaya, Aceh.

“Right now, for many people here, even basic necessities like food and water is a luxury and hard to find. As you can see the destruction behind me is massive,” said Silkina Ahluwalia, from Pidie Jaya in Aceh. “The past few days has been challenging, but President Joko Widodo has lightened the burden quite a bit. Refugee camps are available around the city and about 1000 mobile clinics have been provided,”

The government has already spent an estimated $3.5 billion on assistance. The Chinese government is also among those providing relief to the victims. They are donating as much as $100,000 USD through Indonesia’s Red Cross organization.

Volunteer doctors at this makeshift hospital are bringing hope and providing care in the wake of sorrow.

“Psychological support is the most important thing for the people here. In the past few days, we have experienced a total of 5 aftershocks. That makes it difficult for the survivors to heal completely,” said Dr Arina from Volunteer Medic.

Dr Arina has been working to heal those survivors with for the last four days, many with severe injuries. Today alone, she has treated more than 100 patients, including children dealing with trauma after this tragedy.

“Patients that come in here are usually having trouble sleeping properly, especially children. Most of them are physically unhealthy because they are mentally unstable,” said Dr Arina.

It is heroes like Dr Arina that are continuously pouring in the time and effort to ease the pain for the hundreds of survivors of this quake.