One month report on Indonesia Earthquake / Tsunami / Liquefaction (28 September 2018)

News and Press Release
Originally published


The most intensive traumatic cases are not caused by Earthquake and Tsunami

The Hong Kong based international post-disaster psychological support team, Post Crisis Counseling Network (PCCN) is providing trauma psychological services to the villagers living in Palu, Sigi & Donggala of Indonesia affected by the earthquake/Tsunami/Liquefaction happened on 28 September 2018. PCCN setup Mental Health and Psychosocial Supports Clinic in 9 displacement camps daily to provide trauma psycho-assessment & trauma psychotherapy according to the IASC MHPSS guidelines in order to help the survivors overcome their psychological disorders caused by the traumatic experiences.

There are more than 700 living languages are spoken in Indonesia, therefore, although PCCN brought enough Bahasa Indonesian speaking psycho-assessor came with the first specialist team in October. PCCN discovered that there are less than 3% of the survivor can speak English and 50% are speaking local languages (not Bahasa) which is a big challenge to those international humanitarian teams especially on understanding their emotion related content accurately when doing the trauma-psychological services. PCCN spent time to recruit voluntary interpreters who can speak English/Bahasa language especially in those remote difficultly reached areas around western and eastern Donggala. PCCN is now seeking for $0.2 million donation support for hiring the local people who can speak English to become the interpreters as well as to give free training for them to become a certified psycho-assessor & trauma psychotherapist for long term supports in their areas. It may also help them to have money to redevelop their villages.

Dramatically, one of the 76 years old man who overwhelming to say “I still can’t accept seeing my whole family with 20 relatives suddenly ate by the big hole opened on the street beside my house when I was escaping from the soil liquefaction happened in my village after the quake and it took only few minutes” He was living in the village of Langaleso in Palu happily with 4 generations, son and grand son’s families, he said. In our first round psycho-assessment and analysis, 24 – 28 October 2018, 55% of the Post-traumatic cases are caused by the disaster direct related trigger sources such as experienced the earthquake, the tsunami and liquefaction happened but 50 out of 68 cases are all related to the soil liquefaction with similar description of the 76 years old man. It’s one of the most difficultly treat category by general practice approach such as CBT because the victims’ memory are traumatized by many different modalities such as images of the traumatic event, body sensation about the movement of the ground, sound of the building collapsed and the smell of the dust. Eye Movement

Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the new psychotherapy which can treat such cases in an hour but the cost for inviting those therapist is high. Thus, PCCN is now asking for international funding support estimated budget of $1 million to invite 50+ certified EMDR therapists to provide voluntary services to those survivors suffered from those mental diseases.