Indonesia: Earthquake appeal No. 15/2000 final report

Originally published


This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
Launched on: 6 June 2000
Appeal Target CHF 4,872,921
Disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 250, 000
Beneficiaries: 80,000
Operational Timeframe: 3 months
Period covered: 6 June - 31 August 2000

"At a glance"

Appeal coverage: 94.9%

Related Appeals 01.43/01 Indonesia

The Disaster/Situation

On 6 June, the Federation issued a preliminary appeal for CHF 5,353,933 in response to the earthquake in Bengkulu, Sumatra, after a request by the Indonesian Red Cross, or Pelang Merah Indonesia (PMI), for assistance. Within hours after the earthquake, an assessment team from the International Federation's Secretariat in Geneva was mobilised and sent to the disaster zone to reinforce the PMI's relief effort. The team was joined by the Federation's regional health delegate and water and sanitation officer. Personnel from the American, Singaporean and Japanese Red Cross Societies together with a representative from the OFDA, also joined the team, as did a senior staff member from PMI headquarters in Jakarta. Despite the high Richter scale rating, the earthquake was not as serious as it might have been, mainly because it struck rural areas where most of the buildings/homes are only one storey high. A revised appeal for CHF 4,872,921 was launched on 14 June 2000.


An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale hit the province of Bengkulu on the island of Sumatra on Sunday 4 June, at 23:30 hours local time. It was followed 11 minutes later by an aftershock of 6.7 on the Richter scale and since then the area has experienced close to 800 aftershocks. The epicentre of the quake was in the ocean approximately 112 km southwest of the provincial capital of Bengkulu. The province of Bengkulu, which covers an area of almost 2 million hectares, has a total population of 1,557,000 (1999 statistics). The province stretches along the shoreline, and further inland becomes more mountainous. The lowlands include the towns of Bengkulu and Manna; the mountainous areas rise to 1000-2000m above sea level.

Red Cross Red Crescent action

The appeal established the following objectives:

1. To respond to the immediate needs of up to 80,000 beneficiaries (15,000 families) whose houses had been either totally destroyed or severely damaged

2. To provide an ERU hospital with a 150 bed capacity to replace temporarily the Bengkulu regional public hospital for a seven month period

3. To support PMI capacity building, including disaster preparedness and training in psychological support.

Shelter and family kits

Thousands of homes throughout Bengkulu province were seriously damaged or destroyed, leaving many families to live outdoors without any effective form of shelter. The assessment identified the need for 30,000 plastic tarpaulins and, since many basic household items were also lost, 15,000 family kits were provided. Each kit contained: 1 cooking pot, 1 jerry can, 2 mats, 5 sarongs, 5 pieces of soap, 5 pieces of laundry soap, 5 spoons, 5 cups, 5 plates, 2 tarpaulins (6 x 4), 5 candles (8 pieces pack), 5 boxes of matches, 5 toothbrushes, 5 tubes of toothpaste and 1 plastic sack (50 kg capacity). Whilst it had been originally planned that mosquito bednets be included in the family kits, the assessment team concluded that bednets were only required on Enggano Island (see below).

Beneficiary selection was made on the following basis: individuals whose houses were completely destroyed, seriously damaged or were on the government's 'poverty list'. Whilst it was intended that each family would receive one family kit and two plastic sheets, a small number of families (less than 1=B010) received only one plastic sheet.

The distribution was carried out in three phases. The first distribution of 1,000 family kits and plastic tarpaulins, which took place on 20 June, was initiated on Enggano island where more than 90% of the houses were destroyed. A total of 477 families on the island were provided with relief items. In addition, six schools on the island were provided with plastic tarpaulins. A total of 1,002 units of plastic tarpaulins were distributed.

The second distribution of 5,000 family kits was conducted in the Bengkulu municipality and was completed in the period between 15 and 21 July. These kits were transported from Jakarta to Bengkulu free of charge by the Indonesian navy.

The third distribution was conducted in August in the northern and southern areas of the Bengkulu region. Unfortunately, during this distribution 165 family kits and 150 plastic tarpaulins were stolen and a full police report was sent to the Federation Secretariat. All distributions were completed by 31 August and the balance of 955 plastic tarpaulins was transferred to the PMI disaster preparedness stock.

The following table gives a breakdown of the three separate distributions of family kits and plastic tarpaulins:

Distribution Number
No. of family kits
No. of tarpaulins
Enggano island
Bengkulu Municipality
North/South Bengkulu

On Enggano island, there was an additional distribution of nine kilograms of building nails as well as a small quantity of cement, hammers and saws. Furthermore, a small quantity of emergency medical items for the health clinic on Enggano island were also provided.

Mosquito bednets

The purchase of mosquito bednets for Enggano island was recommended by the assessment team. One thousand impregnated mosquito bednets (two per family) were procured. Before the distribution of the bednets commenced, the Bengkulu based Federation delegate together with staff from the Bengkulu health department travelled to Enggano Island. Dissemination sessions were conducted over a two day period on the use of bednets for the local population. The distribution of 954 bednets was completed in one day, with the balance (46) being shipped to Jakarta for the disaster preparedness stock.

First Aid kits

During the first aftershocks, many minor injuries occurred which could be treated by community members and PMI staff and volunteers with first aid training. 125 first aid kits were donated by the Singapore Red Cross Society. They were flown into Bengkulu and distributed to all PMI volunteers and university students with PMI first aid training.

ERU - field hospital

A fully equipped, 150 bed emergency response unit (ERU) field hospital arrived in Jakarta on 14 June. In the following two days, the Indonesian army airlifted the hospital using seven C130 aircraft cargo flights. The construction began immediately with the support of more than 60 PMI volunteers and six technicians and medical advisors from the Norwegian Red Cross. On 20 June, the hospital opened when the first patients were moved to the new intensive care unit. Within eight hours all patients, staff and equipment had been transferred to the new hospital. The doctors and nurses also facilitated the layout of the hospital, as well as deciding whether to use the new or existing equipment, or a combination of both. The first four surgical operations took place on 21 June, followed by a further six the next day.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the government of the Republic of Indonesia was signed on 16 June 2000. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia. Under the MoU the responsibilities of each party were clearly defined.

Until the end of December 2000, the ERU hospital continued to receive approximately 100 outpatients per day and had an average of 100 inpatients.

Repair work to the damaged Bengkulu hospital was completed in December. In February 2001, the PMI, assisted by the Federation and the Norwegian Red Cross, re-packed the field hospital. Whilst a number of medical instruments were donated by the PMI to the Bengkulu hospital, most medical supplies were sent to Jakarta for onward redeployment to the PMI hospital in Bogor, Java. Meanwhile a fridge was handed over to the local PMI blood bank and plastic sheets and 2 field tents were left with the PMI chapter to use as disaster preparedness stocks. The rub hall, as well as 2 large tents and the frames for 7 specialist tents (the canvas had perished) were packed together with tap stands, bladder tanks and stretchers for storage by the PMI in Jakarta. This equipment will be held centrally and will form the basis of future PMI disaster response capacity. While the field hospital was budgeted at CHF 1.4 million, the final cost was CHF 1.2 million. This reduction in cost led to approximately 13% under-expenditure in relation to contributions.

Provide a community based psychological support programme

Although it was initially planned to develop a psychological support programme for the earthquake victims, the impact of the earthquake was not as profound as first thought. This, together with the fact that the Federation was unable to recruit the necessary expertise to establish the programme, resulted in this component of the operation not being implemented.

Capacity building of PMI

This relatively large operation provided not only valuable experience for the PMI Bengkulu chapter, ut many of the relief items (including 2 vehicles and 4 motorbikes purchased for distribution and monitoring) have been incorporated in national preparedness stocks and lessons learned from the operation have been included in a nationwide disaster preparedness review (facilitated by partner Red Cross national societies).

The earthquake operation has helped to reinforce the image and profile of PMI amongst the local population, the government and the diplomatic community; with support from the Federation's regional information delegate, it is planned that a more sophisticated communication strategy will be developed.

A one day training course in reporting was facilitated by the Federation reporting delegate during August. It was attended by 35 participants from the PMI headquarters and the Jakarta chapter.

While an amount was budgeted in the appeal for disaster preparedness (DP), a formal review of disaster preparedness/conflict preparedness was carried out in October 2000. It was since agreed with key donors that an amount of the unspent funds from this operation be set aside to build on this review in 2001 (reallocated and covered under the DP programme in the annual appeal for Indonesia 2001).



Throughout the operation and during the removal of the field hospital, the Federation delegates (relief administrator, logistics delegate, reporting delegate and relief administrator trainee delegate) monitored the operation. Support was also provided by the Federation regional delegation in Bangkok.


During the emergency phase of the operation, the PMI headquarters had an operational team based in Bengkulu. This consisted of a programme coordinator, the head of the PMI relief department, a finance administrator and twenty five volunteers. Additional staff including a warehouse manager, a storekeeper and two drivers, were provided through the local PMI chapter. The Bengkulu chapter, in coordination with the local authorities, also managed and monitored the re-packing of the hospital.

Means used to evaluate changing needs

With the staffing mentioned above and an office based in Bengkulu, the Federation was able to evaluate any changes in needs among the local population.

Measures taken to ensure that recipients have been properly reached

Every distribution was monitored by at least one representative of the Federation and PMI staff. Signed distribution lists have been kept on file in the Federation office in Jakarta.

External relations - Government/UN/NGOs/Media

High level government officials (Vice President of Indonesia, the Ministers of the Interior, Health, Population Migration and Social Poverty) visited the affected area. The government signed an MoU with the PMI concerning the field hospital and provided funds to rebuild the Bengkulu hospital.

The state oil company and steel producer as well as a private television channel were named as sponsors of a construction project to rebuild facilities damaged by the Bengkulu earthquake. Whilst public donations raised Rp. 2.3 billion, the estimated cost for reconstruction came to Rp 200 billion. The government repair project includes the rehabilitation of 103 community health centres, 128 houses for doctors and paramedics, as well as hospitals and school buildings.

A Singaporean army medical unit, a Japanese disaster response unit and a Taiwanese medical/search and rescue team all gave assistance in the initial emergency relief phase.

The Malaysian government donated food stuffs and building materials valued at USD 100,000 to the earthquake victims. The aid was presented by Malaysian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Governor of Bengkulu.

The British Ambassador visited Bengkulu with a Department for International Development (DFID) team on 29 and 30 June 2000. The PMI/Federation team accompanied the Ambassador to the ERU hospital and provided a briefing on the operations in Bengkulu.

A six person UNDAC team arrived on 7 June, and immediately established coordination with the Federation during their nine day stay in Bengkulu.

World Vision (Indonesia), MSF (Holland/Belgium), Catholic Relief Services and Caritas arrived after the earthquake and established good cooperation with the Federation.

Initial interest attracted media representatives from the BBC and ABC. The Federation was accompanied by the BBC crew on the initial flight to Enggano island. In addition, many interviews were given to representatives from Reuters, AP and many other agencies.

Several press conferences were held with the Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross Society (PMI). Regular articles appeared in the Indonesian daily newspapers on the Federation/PMI operations in Bengkulu. There were regular TV and radio news items on the operation.

A reception was organised on 31 July at the PMI headquarters for the diplomatic community and government officials in order to express gratitude to the international community for their support. This was complemented by the preparation of a "Bulletin from the Field" and a CD-rom with photographs


The early response by the Federation in deploying a full assessment team, as well as strong support from donors, enabled the PMUFederation to provide an appropriate and timely response to the disaster. Communities have now largely repaired their damaged homes and despite further earthquakes, the Bengkulu hospital has been repaired and the field hospital dismantled. Given that the operation was well supported and that the field hospital cost less than originally budgeted, it has been agreed with 9 donors that the resulting balance of CHF 487,416 be used to support the capacity building of PMI. The amount has, therefore, been reallocated to the Federation Appeal (01.43/2001) and will largely be used for the disaster preparedness and organisational development programmes.

This and other reports on Federation operations are available on the Federation's website:

For further details please contact: Sandra Rosner, Phone : 4l 22 730 4456; Fax: 4l 22 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

This operation sought to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or long-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

Peter Rees-Gildea
Head a.i.
Relationship Management Department

Hiroshi Higashiura
Asia & Pacific Department

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