UNDAC Team Mission Report Bengkulu Earthquake, Sumatra, Indonesia 6 - 16 Jun 2000

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 19 Jun 2000


BACKGROUND
Nature of disaster

On 4/5/6 of June 2000 a series of earthquakes struck the area south west of Sumatra in Indonesia. The epicentres were located about 100 km west of Sumatra with the highest recorded magnitude at 7.9R, although some authorities gave lower readings. Many aftershocks measuring over 5R were recorded days later. The earthquake was relatively shallow, 33km below the sea. No tsunami was generated. Aftershocks were still occurring as late as 16 June when the team departed Indonesia.

The earthquake was felt as far away as Jakarta and Singapore but the main impact was on the city and province of Bengkulu and the nearby island of Enggano, both in Sumatra. The limits of the earthquake damage stretched from approximately 15 - 20 km north of Bengkulu city to a few kilometres south of the town of Manna. Bengkulu City has a population of 350,000 of a total provincial population of 1.5 million (latest census in 1998 gave a total population of 1.488million with the highest concentration in Central Bengkulu). Enggano Island has a population of about 2,000 people. No casualties or damage are reported from any other neighbouring provinces.

1.2 UNDAC Team Mission Purpose and Activation

The purpose of the UNDAC Mission was to conduct an assessment of the Sumatra Earthquake and wherever appropriate to assist with the on-site coordination of international agencies present in Bengkulu. The UNDAC Team was given the task to coordinate the work of the international agencies by the Governor at a meeting held on Wednesday 7th June at the POSKO (Command Post). This allocation of roles was agreed to by international agencies and NGOs present at the meeting.

UNDAC Team members from Fiji, Australia and Switzerland arrived in Jakarta on the night of June 6th. After a short meeting with the UNDMT/Technical Task Force at the UNDP Office on June 7th, the team left Jakarta by road at 1500hr and reached Bengkulu at about 2130hr on Thursday 8th June. A five-hour overnight break was taken at Bandar Lampung in southern Sumatra following advice from local UN staff that ‘bandit’ activity made it unsafe to travel overnight through certain parts of the route. The second leg of some 16 hours, during which many team members saw their life history pass before them on a number of occasions, will long be remembered.

In Bengkulu, one of the team members, Dr Kwan Joo Teo of Singapore Armed Forces, who arrived directly from Singapore, on Tuesday June 6th, met us at the Dena Hotel, the only available accommodation in town.

The Team composition:

Bengkulu
Joe Chung (Leader)
Joe Barr
Teo Kwang Joo
Hans-Ulrich Salzmann (SRS)
Dominique Gyger (SRS)
Emil Ibrahim (WHO
Raharjo Suwandi (WFP)
Rusdi Ramli (UNDP
Abdul Hamid (Bakornas PB Liaison)

Jakarta
Ralph Kennedy
Thorsteinn Thorkelsson

Note: Thorsteinn Thorkelsson transferred to the field team on June 12th. Dr Dominique Gyger departed early on Sunday the 11th June.

At the field level, the team was separated into two or more groups to assess the situation as quickly as possible. The Governor's Office allocated a space within the main coordination center for the team to operate from. A member of the UNDAC Team always staffed this ‘office’. An operation center was also established at the UN Building in Jakarta. This was manned by Ralph Kennedy, who was assisted by Thorsteinn Thorkelsson from 7 to 12 June.

Impact

Casualty figures reported by the provincial government to 14 June are:

90 deaths, 788 seriously injured (of which only 86 remain in hospital), and 1789 with minor injuries.

Damage figures have also been provided as follows:

Houses completely destroyed: 1,800; Seriously damaged: 10,196, Less seriously damaged: 16,776.

Reported damage to other construction includes:

Construction
Destroyed
Heavy damage
Light damage
Bridges
4
11
20
Hospitals

3

Health centres
8
72
49
Administration buildings
1
120
41
Schools
2
130
73
Additional damage has been caused to infrastructure and lifelines. Electric power systems in Bengkulu and some outlying districts were disrupted by damage to generators and power poles. The piped water system in Bengkulu was damaged (it is understood to have only reached about 30 per cent of the city) and many wells and bores in rural districts are damaged, but water is still present and being utilised. One noted problem is the cracking of concrete sleeves lining wells, which may allow leakage of pollutants into water sources. Harbour facilities were also damaged. The wharf at Bengkulu suffered slight damage and is serviceable but the approach road crosses two bridges that are damaged and only safe for light trucks. Some marine navigation marks have been damaged or moved. The roll-on roll-off wharf at Enggano was surveyed by the Dutch Navy and is considered only suitable for use with extreme caution. Bengkulu airport is understood to be fully operational although with some superficial damage to terminal buildings.

On the island of Enggano up to 95% of 300 houses are reported to be seriously damaged. 4 churches, 5 mosques, 1 Health Centre, 6 schools and all government buildings have been destroyed.

The earthquake has had a significant impact on some rural communities with limited resources. Assessment teams have noted that fishing communities appear to be particularly badly affected because of extreme poverty and the reluctance of men to leave their families living in temporary shelter while they go fishing.

Secondary Threats

Recurring aftershocks do not appear to have caused further casualties or damage but are affecting the morale of the population, some of whom are reluctant to sleep indoors even in houses that appear to be undamaged. Most other secondary threats existed to some degree even before the earthquake. Water purity standards were poor so it is common practice to boil drinking water. Water purity could be worse now but to date there is no report of any significant increase in the occurrence of diarrhoea or other water-borne ailments.

Another potential threat, particularly if there is significant rain in the near future is from landslips that could block major and minor roads as well as damaging some badly sited houses. Rain could also be a problem to people living outdoors and the patients in the improvised hospital tents. There could also be an increase in the occurrence of malaria among people living out of doors if rainfall increases. This is a malaria-prone area.

An important secondary effect is the loss of income and livelihood of the affected. This needs to be monitored closely by the provincial and national governments and also by the other stakeholders such as UN agencies, bilateral donors and NGOs. Losses of livelihood may result in considerable hardship and cycle of poverty for those already living on the margin.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

Organisation: national and local authorities

Bengkulu Province is administratively divided into four districts and thirty-one sub-districts. Each district has a command post known as SATLAK. The district is further divided into sub-districts and villages. Information about damage and needs should flow from the villages and settlements to the sub-districts and then to the SATLAK. The latter is responsible for assessing and collating information and sending this on to the SATKORLAK with request for emergency relief if needed. The SATLAK is responsible for receiving, co-ordinating distribution and accounting for all relief received.

The response to the earthquake is being co-ordinated by the Bengkulu Provincial Government with direct responsibility for co-ordination delegated to the Deputy Governor. An emergency operations centre (SATKORLAK POSKO INDUK) is operating from tented accommodation outside the Governor’s Office, which is damaged and considered unsafe at present. Sub-operation centres, operated by the respective level of government, are operating in affected sub-provinces and districts.

Central government is committed to supporting the provincial government. This has been expressed in several meetings with Cabinet Ministers from the central government. The latter has promised that they will support the Bengkulu Province in its long-term rehabilitation programme and will be putting together a programme to this effect.

Administrative measures

The Provincial Government has declared a State of Emergency that is likely to be in force for three weeks from the date of the earthquake. No national state of emergency or disaster has been or will be declared.

Operations

Aid supplies are delivered to a store at the Provincial Governor’s Office from which they are distributed to SATLAKs for distribution to victims. Initial deliveries were of food (mainly rice and instant noodles) but from 11 June there has been some distribution of tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, sleeping mats and sarongs (clothing). Supplies of food (rice, instant noodles, etc) drinking water, sarongs, water storage containers and tarpaulins continue to arrive at the SATKORLAK for distribution.

Constraints

Statistics on damage and casualties continue to improve, as reports are received from districts and sub-districts, but the information is still not complete. Information on the damage to public facilities and utilities is still being compiled. The relief operation is constrained by the lack of any existing provincial disaster management or even disaster relief plan so the relief structure and procedures are being developed ‘on the run’. Co-ordination is improving and all available local agencies are regularly called to attend coordination meetings.

ON-SITE LEVEL INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

According to information gathered by and provided to the Team, the following international resources have been deployed to date:

Singapore: 20 person Armed Forces medical team, 12 boxes medical supplies. Arrived 6 June. Medical team providing out patient services in Bengkulu General Hospital.

Japan: 16 person medical team, medical supplies, 100 tents, 100 rolls of plastic sheeting. Arrived 8 June medical team providing out patient services in Bengkulu General Hospital

Switzerland: Medical stores to a value of 500 million rupiah;

Taiwan: Search and Rescue Team. Arrived 8 June. Departed 10 June. Did reconnaissance and assessment in Bengkulu and districts south of the city.

Taiwan: Medical Team. Arrived 10 June. Providing health facilities in the village of Sukaraja, south east of Bengkulu city. Departed 14 June.

Netherlands: Naval ships and helicopters. Assisted in the delivery of food and medical supplies to Enggano. Technical teams to repair water pump and hospital facilities and surveyed the wharf. Helicopter reconnaissance assistance to UNDAC Team. Last ship departed late on 9th June.

Belgium: Naval ship and helicopter in joint operations with Royal Netherlands Navy.

IFRC: Assessment Team, medical supplies. Arrived 6 June with helicopter and conducted an assessment of all affected areas in support of international appeal for assistance and support for Indonesian Red Cross. At the end of the UNDAC Mission, it was noted that IFRC had delivered a field hospital.

MSF Holland and Belgium: Medical, water and sanitation assessment team arrived 6 June and conducted their assessment of water and medical conditions, particularly on Enggano.

World Vision Indonesia: The assessment team arrived 10 June. Assessed family needs to plan response with family kits. Delivery of up to 2,000 family kits has been organised.

Australia: 23,000 10 and 12 litres water containers, 9 collapsible water tanks (2 x 10,000lts and 5 x 7,000lts), and financial support for IFRC.

United Kingdom: Provided financial support for IFRC.

USA: US$ 25,000

People’s Republic of China: Assessment Team arrived 11 June

People’s Republic of China Red Cross: US$25,000 (213million Rupiah).

Catholic Relief Services: Assessment Team arrived 8 June, departed 13 June. Intends to provide food relief directly to families.

Adventist Development and Relief Services: Assessment Team arrived 8 June, departed 12 June. Intend to provide family packs to 1200 families.

OTHER INFORMATION

Security

Since about 8 June local communities have started building occasional road blocks as a protest at the perceived slow delivery or non-delivery of relief. These roadblocks have not been threatening to international teams although UNDAC assessment teams have been removed from their vehicles and asked to sit down and listen to the grievances of communities. The sources of discontent appear to be mixed. There were undoubted delays in getting relief teams, particularly medical teams, out to rural areas and the province advises that mobile teams are now visiting such areas. Delays in other distribution seem to be a combination of slow-decision making and lack of funds. Relief now being distributed is donated by Indonesian sources and by the international community. An additional source of discontent appears to be an unrealistic expectation that food and other aid will be distributed to everyone because there has been a disaster. There is no indication so far of any public information campaign to clarify relief policy and introduce a targeted response. UNDAC assessment team has been advised that rice has been delivered to communities but in relatively small amounts, which community leaders have refused to distribute to everyone. This strategy by some of the sub-district officials to distribute rice at a rate of 0.04 kg per person for transparency sake, has resulted in some community leaders refusing to re-distribute the small volumes of rice until more are made available.

Throughout the mission, there were no real security threats to international teams. The situation was causing concern and the situation will be continually monitored.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

Medical

There was major damage to the General Hospital of Bengkulu city (reference hospital for the province). The worst affected areas were in Central and Southern Bengkulu Districts.

Existing health infrastructure in Bengkulu province:

Health Centres: 112

Sub Health Centres: 477

Hospitals:
3 District hospitals in Manna, Rajang Lobang, North Bengkulu
1 reference hospital in Bengkulu
1 military hospital in Bengkulu
1 private hospital in Bengkulu
Total beds: about 619

Enggano Island: 1 Health Centre

Health facilities status:

Item
Buildings
Damage Status
Total
Destroyed
Functional
Heavy
Moderate
Light
A Hospitals
1.
Centre referral (M.Yunus hospital)
1
-
1
1


2.
North Bengkulu districts
1
-
1
1


3.
South Bengkulu districts (Manna)
1
-
1

1

4.
Military
1
-
1


1
5.
Psychiatric
1
-
1


1
6.
Private (Raflesia)
1
-
1


1
B Puskesmas (health centres)

Kodya Bengkulu (centre districts)
15
2
13
1
2
1

North Bengkulu
35
-
35
-
4
1

South Bengkulu
34
1
33
8
1
1

Rejang Lebong
28
-
28
-
-
-
C Puskesmas pembantu (Sub health centre)

Kodya Bengkulu (centre districts)
49
1
48
4
3
5

North Bengkulu
187
-
187
-
5
2

South Bengkulu
127
-
127
9
2
-

Rejang Lebong
114
-
114
-
-
-
Total
595
4
591
24
18
13
Bengkulu Government Hospital:

The hospital has a 250-beds capacity and it is well staffed with doctors and nurses. Bed occupation rate before the disaster was 50%-60%. The hospital had the following facilities:

  • Main building with 2 floors containing the emergency room, shock room, portable X-Ray, operating theatre and administration. This building is badly damaged and will require assessment by structural engineers before it can be operational again.
  • Two buildings (2 floors each): They are both used for in-patients, but one houses the operating theatre, X-Ray, Intensive Care Unit, and a laboratory. These buildings sustained only minor damage and can be used after repairs.
  • Four other smaller buildings containing the laundry, kitchen, maintenance and forensic facilities appear undamaged.

The hospital continues to operate utilising tents provided by the JDR, Taiwan, Singapore Armed Forces and the Indonesian Military. These temporary facilities are treating both the earthquake victims and normal daily health problems. The total patients treated since a week after the earthquakes are about 200, more than half ambulant. Of the 100 persons hospitalised, only about 30 of them are non-earthquake related.

Emergency surgery has been done utilising medical staff and supplies from this hospital but borrowing operating theatres from the other two hospitals in Bengkulu (which suffered relatively less damage than the Government Hospital). Elective surgery from Bengkulu Government Hospital resumed on 10 June. The ratio of earthquake to non-earthquake related hospitalised cases is continuously changing. The ratio was 64/27 on June 9th and by 10th. June this has changed to 56/47. By the time the team left Bengkulu, there were more non-earthquake patients being treated than earthquake victims.

Bengkulu Rafflesia Private Hospital

This is a privately run 40-bed hospital. The hospital has one Operating Theatre, an X-Ray machine and a small laboratory. The hospital has a surgeon, paediatrician and anaesthetist and it is very well staffed with nurses. It consists of 5 small single storey buildings. There was slight damage to the buildings but the hospital is still functioning normally. The hospital has treated a total of 119 casualties and 6 deaths resulting from the earthquake. More than half of these patients have been discharged.

Bengkulu TNI-AD Military Hospital

This 40-bed military hospital serves the military community in Bengkulu. It also caters to the civilian population. The hospital was not badly damaged and is operational. The hospital treated more than one hundred earthquake casualties.

Manna

The Manna sub-district with a total population of 335’000 has one undamaged and functional hospital and 70 health centres. The main hospital is functioning but it has medical supplies for only 2 weeks. Staff made no request for any medical help, but there was a clear need for the rebuilding of damaged facilities.

Enggano Island

The island has a total population of 2000 people - 300 family units. It has one health centre that was severely damaged. It was partially repaired by the Dutch Navy who also replenished it with medical supplies. No real major medical aid was needed at the time of the survey. However, rebuilding of health centre and dwellings will be a major rehabilitation need. The water wells are contaminated.

Health Centres

Central Bengkulu District

Out of 40 main and smaller health centres (run by midwives): 5 are completely destroyed, 11 heavily damaged and 24 slightly damaged. Doctors and other staff remain at the damaged centres but work from shelters erected nearby. Officials in the Central district have indicated that medical supplies at the health centres are adequate but from interview done with 2 health centres, medical supplies have not reached them and they are still operating under simple makeshift shelters.

South Bengkulu District

The district has 34 main health centres and 127 smaller health centres. From field visits to villages in the South Bengkulu, it seems that there are still some casualties that have not received proper treatment because of a lack of suitable transport and ignorance about the availability of free medical treatment. All of the five rural health centres visited in South Bengkulu had suffered minor damage and one did not have any medical staff. Replenishment medical supplies had not reached the health centres five days after the earthquake.

North District

The district hospital is damaged but functioning. Reports from medical officials and NGOs indicated that most of the health centres here have minimal damage and are functional.

Infectious Diseases

Water-borne Diseases

Normal disease incidence rates include: diarrhoea related - 58 per 1000; typhoid - 3.1 per 1000; and dysentery - 3.9 per 1000 (statistics are based on cases seen in health centres, and reported in the 1998 health census statistics). About 75 % of the population living in the rural areas rely heavily on well water and from surveys done in central and southern Bengkulu; the people living in these areas have no problem with water availability. Many of those living in the Bengkulu town have limited availability of water and even those normally supplied with piped water may now have to rely on delivery by water tankers. As long as people continue to boil drinking water there is little risk of a major water-borne infectious diseases outbreak, although some of the health centres reported an increase during the week following the earthquake.

Malaria

The prevalence of Malaria was 15.6 per 1000 (1998 health census statistics). Generally, there is an increased risk of Malaria among the homeless and people who are sleeping outside their houses in makeshift shelters without the protection of mosquito nets.

Mental Health

Officials report no increased in stress related symptoms among the patients seen in the hospitals. Field visits to the outlying health centres also indicated that this was not an immediate issue. However the situation needs to be assessed by a psycho-social (trauma) expert. Discussion with the Archbishop showed that the Catholic Archdiocese is providing counselling to affected church members.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND BUILDING DAMAGE

Roads and bridges

Most of the roads in Bengkulu city and its surroundings are operational. Visible damage consists of cracks in the asphalt surface and at the edge of the road with some minor landslides and fallen rocks on the roadside. Most of the bridges examined are still standing and being used. However, the foundations of the support pillars need to be checked carefully because protection around the base may have been affected. There is always a danger that supports standing in water could gradually deteriorate and eventually collapse. Assessment by a specialised bridge and road construction engineer is needed. The responsible official of the Department of Public Works made a request for an experienced engineer in this field.

Water supply

The water supply in Bengkulu city is functioning at approx. 20% capacity. The main city pumping station is producing approx. 60lt. a second, and as soon as the transformer station is fixed it could raise its production up to 100lt. a second, which should cover the needs of the main town.

The main delivery problem is earthquake damage to the reticulation system that has led to significant freshwater loss. To counteract this loss and to meet the immediate needs of the population, a distribution system using trucks with water tanks has been organised. To increase water availability in all of the affected areas, some large water storage tanks with proper delivery taps are needed. They can be strategically placed in selected areas that are easily accessible to the public. For families to store water, 10 and 20 litres containers are required

The water supply in the rural areas is based on wells. Some wells are cracked, allowing increased leakage of potential pollutants into the water. They need to be cleaned out in a sanitation program, which should also cover waste-water management.

The immediate needs are for about 10 x 5,000 to 10,000 litres transportable water tanks with valves, and over 20,000 individual collapsible water containers of 10-20 litres capacity. The distribution system for the water needs to be organised and strictly controlled.

Electricity

The electricity supply to the main town is still functioning at approx. 30% capacity. The biggest problems are the transformers that were damaged during the earthquake. Electricity supply is not a major problem resulting from this disaster.

Public buildings

Hospitals and Health Centres

The badly damaged Bengkulu City public hospital main building is not operational. To estimate the full extent of the damage a proper assessment by earthquake engineers needs to be made. Detailed information is given in the Health section above.

Schools

Observation shows that schools are usually made up of groups of separate buildings. The one-storey buildings appear to have been less affected then the multi-storey buildings. A detailed structural assessment of each building must be made before using it again.

District of Bengkulu (including Enggano Island)

Items
Destroyed
Heavy Damage
Light Damage
University of Bengkulu
-
Library, Administration
-
Senior schools

4
3
Junior schools

4
3
Elementary schools
1
18
11
District of Rejang Lebong
Senior schools
-
2
1
Junior schools
-
1
2
Elementary schools
-
29
8
District of Bengkulu North
Senior schools
-
2
2
Junior schools
-
4
3
Elementary schools
-
23
18
District of Manna
Senior schools
1
1
-
Junior schools
-
2
-
Elementary schools
-
40
22
Administration buildings

Many administration buildings were damaged due to their construction system. However, most of them can be used again but a detailed assessment must be made to verify this.

Region
Destroyed
Heavy damage
Light damage
Bengkulu City
-
56
4
Bengkulu north
-
30
5
Rejang Lebong
-
14
8
Island Enggano
1


Manna district
-
20
24
Private accommodation

The worst affected areas cover an average width of about 10km, running from approximately 10-20 km north of Bengkulu City, south as far as Manna, and all of Enggano Island. The basic cause of destruction of private houses is the very poor construction technique used. No earthquake-resistant building techniques were implemented during construction. People were not aware of the danger, or that the techniques and expertise exist in-country. No relevant Government support or programmes are available. In the reconstruction period, public education and awareness activities for badly affected communities should be seriously considered. The necessary knowledge and skills are available in Indonesia and should be mobilised, either with support from the national and provincial governments or through a donor agency.

Housing in Bengkulu district

Houses in urban and rural areas are mostly wooden construction. Some have massive/heavy materials like brick walls and concrete pillars with no proper foundation.

To meet the immediate shelter needs for families who have lost their houses, shelter materials such as plastic sheeting, timber, nails, and corrugated roofing iron are needed. The Provincial Government advises that it can meet the need for timber and cement from local resources. The selection of the beneficiaries and the distribution of the material will need to be controlled carefully. IFRC, World Vision, ADRA and Caritas are adequately providing temporary shelter materials.

A meeting held on the 12 of June, with the Ministry of Public Works to discuss the government’s strategy for reconstruction revealed that government is to carry out a detail assessment of the damage to private housing, starting in the next few days. Based on this assessment and the financial situation of the affected families, a selection of the beneficiaries will be made. The planned assistance includes the provision of construction material for either a 21 or 36 sq meter house, plus a small cash grant of 10 % of the approx. costs to be paid to the owner. The owners themselves will build the houses. A parallel training program in basic earthquake-resistant construction will be conducted for those participating. It was strongly recommended by the team that active participation on this program of the specialised group of experts on basic earthquake-resistant construction led by Mr. Teddy Boen of Bandung University could help to spread this affordable and simple technique to the people concerned.

The whole program should be finished within one year.

Food relief

Community members affected by the earthquake feel that food is their priority need, followed by, tent/shelter and construction materials. Food security in general, however, is not affected:

- Agricultural farms (local food production) are not affected

- Food supply in shops and markets is stable and plentiful,

- Food prices showed the price of rice is stable (the cheapest Rp1,850/kg).

- Prices of some other food commodities, have increased following the earthquake:

  • Sugar from Rp 2,500 to Rp 2,700
  • Egg from Rp 3,500 to Rp 4,200, and so are prices of wheat, flour, and cooking oil.

- As a rule, the national government maintains a minimum of 50 MT of rice as a buffer-stock for emergency purposes. At the time of earthquake, the stock was 160 MT of rice. Out of this quantity, 80 MT has been distributed through SATKORLAK.

Excessive pressure to meet demand for food aid by the community has led SATKORLAK and SATLAK to lose direction on how food aid should be distributed. This breakdown of the distribution system has led to increasing tension in the community over the expectation of "aid" as a right. The tension is shown by the setting up of roadblocks by some communities in the earthquake area that did not consider that adequate attention had been paid to their perceived needs. Not all of these protesters would be qualified to be potential beneficiaries of a food aid program. The potential target groups for such a program are the urban poor in the city of Bengkulu (and perhaps Manna) and fishing communities with no savings or other emergency support to replace lost access to food resources. Many other protesters are victims who do not necessarily qualify for access to emergency support. These include those with secure jobs with the government as well as private sector and the middle class income earners who have access to alternative resources.

DOLOG (government sponsored logistics agency) has a warehouse in Bengkulu with a capacity of 14,500 MT of rice (currently filled with 10,000 MT) and in all district capital towns including, Manna, with a capacity of 1,000 MT each.

CONCLUSIONS

The UNDAC Team considers that this disaster, although serious, is not on the same scale as some other major earthquake disasters that have occurred in recent years. Despite the magnitude and duration of the original tremor and the number of major aftershocks, many of which could have qualified as significant earthquakes in their own right, the number of casualties was fairly low and the amount of damage remarkably light. Bengkulu Province is a fertile and relatively rich province, which, although lacking major manufacturing resources, should have the resources to recover in a relatively short period. Individuals, particularly in some vulnerable groups, can be expected to take longer to recover and may require extended assistance. For the majority of the population, the impact of the disaster will be limited to a period of nervousness about every tremor or perceived tremor felt and the need to repair relatively superficial damage to homes and buildings. The Emergency Phase of the disaster is almost finished and may be considered finished when the IFRC-organised temporary hospital is operating and the promised shelter kits, tarpaulins and water containers have been distributed.

Within the Province there will be a continuing need to monitor health standards and to continue health education to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. As a first step, provincial authorities will need to conduct professional assessments of the damage to buildings and facilitate rapid repair. A major public education campaign is needed to demonstrate to people how they can rebuild to acceptable earthquake resistant standards and to strengthen existing buildings to enable them to resist future seismic events. Indonesia has the resources to carry out these tasks although the cooperation of national and provincial governments as well as the participation of such agencies as the universities and professional bodies will be needed.

A number of international needs in the next stage have been identified and these are listed in the recommendations below.

RECOMMENDATIONS

All requests for assistance passed to the UNDAC Team were from the Provincial Government, which has been given responsibility for coordinating the response with the full support of the National Government. The Team is not aware of any direct requests for assistance made by the National Government.

The UNDAC Team, in discussion with the Bengkulu Provincial Government, has identified a number of areas in which international assistance is required. Before providing this assistance, donors will probably need to obtain professional advice from specialists in the relevant sectors. While direct assistance from such professionals is rarely requested directly, it is clear that their assistance would be welcomed.

The assistance discussed is given below and categorised by sector.

Medical and Health:

General Hospital Repair/Rebuilding. The temporary hospital facility being provided to support the Government Hospital in Bengkulu City is only a temporary solution. There is an urgent need to conduct a professional survey of the condition of the buildings and to carry out repairs and rebuilding as quickly as possible. International assistance with the rebuilding will be needed.

Health Centre Repairs. Assistance is needed to rebuild the 4 Health Centres and 22 Health Sub Centres destroyed or seriously damaged.

Ambulances. Bengkulu general hospital has only three small ambulances and did not have the capacity to move seriously injured patients from rural areas after the earthquake. A request has been made for 3-5 additional small ambulances for this purpose. (N.B. It is rumoured that the Vice-President of Indonesia is to divert some ambulances from another area to assist Bengkulu. In that case the need may be reduced or even covered).

Mosquito Nets. People in this region do not habitually use mosquito nets but any increase in the incidence of malaria may warrant their use, particularly by those living outside destroyed or damaged homes. International assistance would probably be needed, as provincial resources will be heavily committed to a range of projects.

Water and Sanitation.

Water quality is low in this province, as it is in much of Indonesia. Assistance with repair of the damaged Bengkulu city water treatment plant and water reticulation system would be welcome but professional advice would be needed to discover the extent of the need. In the interim, provision of additional flexible or prefabricated tanks that could be positioned in districts without reticulation, and small water tankers (or pillow/bladder tanks for mounting in trucks to turn them into interim tankers) would be valuable.

MSF is carrying out a project to improve water quality on Enggano Island but improvement of rural water quality and extension of the water reticulation system in Bengkulu city would be major development projects that would need to be conducted over a number of years. Short-term solutions that gave people a false sense of security could be counter productive if they were not sustainable. Assistance in this sector is not recommended except as a major project.

Shelter Materials

As discussed earlier in this report, the Public Works Department has designed two basic housing units of 21 sq metres and 36 sq metres. The Provincial Government is developing a scheme to provide the building materials for one of these houses, together with 10% of the cost of building, to eligible families. The government advises that it can provide timber and cement for this project from provincial resources but seeks international assistance with obtaining corrugated iron roofing material (known as "zinc" in Indonesia) and nails for up to 10,000 houses.

Both the roofing material and the nails are available from Java, the next island. Standard roofing sheets in Indonesia are 185cm x 68 cm and are sold retail at a cost of Rp 270,000 (US$ 33.54) per 20 sheets. Nails are sold at about Rp 20,000 (US$ 0.50) per kg.

School Buildings

The Provincial Government has requested assistance with rebuilding and re-equipping the destroyed and seriously damaged school buildings listed earlier in this report. The amount of assistance needed has not yet been quantified.

Bridge Engineer

The Department of Public Works is aware that assessment of many bridges should be carried out by a specialised bridge and road construction engineer. No such engineer is available in Bengkulu Province and the responsible official made a request for the assistance of an experienced engineer in this field.

Disaster Management Capacity Building

The capacity of officials from Bengkulu Province to coordinate the early stages of this disaster reveal a serious shortfall in training and capacity to deal with disasters. Few, if any, have received any training and the early stages of the response were managed in a very ‘ad hoc’ manner. The Governor made a specific request for training and capacity building in all aspects of disaster management and a similar request was received, quite independently, from Ministry of health officials from the General Hospital. The UNDAC Team strongly supports this request and considers that it may be a project that could be applicable to other Indonesian provinces.

Needs Priorities

The UNDAC Team considers that the following are the priorities of the needs listed above:

1. Shelter materials
2. Water tanks and containers
3. Bridge engineer
4. Mosquito nets (if requested)
5. Ambulances
6. Repairs to Main Hospital and Health Centres
7. Repairs to Schools
8. Disaster Management Capacity Building

ANNEX A: Team Program


ANNEX A TO THE UNDAC TEAM REPORT ON BENGKULU EARTHQUAKE, SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 6 - 16 June 2000

TEAM PROGRAM


5 June: UNDAC Team members alerted about the earthquake

6 June: Team members departed Fiji, Australia, Iceland, Singapore and Switzerland. Arrived Jakarta late pm

7 June: Bengkulu Team departed Jakarta 1500 by road

8 June: Bengkulu Team arrived Bengkulu 2130.

9-14 June: Assessment and coordination activities in Bengkulu. Jakarta Team working in UNDP Jakarta

14 June: Bengkulu Team departed by air for Jakarta late am. Briefed UN Resident Coordinator pm.

15 June: Report preparation in Jakarta

16 June: Completed administrative tasks in Jakarta and departed for home countries

17 June: Team members arrived in home countries.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.