Mount Merapi Eruption - November 2010 - Indonesia

Funds allocated:
US$ 175 000

Affected population:
3.5 million

The emergency

Mt. Merapi had multiple eruptions on and after 26 October 2010, causing many casualties and disruption of the health system in the affected areas of Central Java and Jogjakarta province. Almost 3.5 million people (including 6 438 children under five, 472 pregnant women, 19 lactating women and 9 375 elderly) living in the four districts/municipalities of Sleman, Klaten, Magelang and Boyolali were mainly affected. A safe zone was demarcated at a 20 km radius from the volcano where the displaced were relocated in camps managed by the national and sub-national authorities.

Mt Merapi spewing ash and volcanic material
Mt Merapi spewing ash and volcanic material

By 8 December 2010, the disaster had caused 379 deaths and the admission of 2 760 patients; 61 284 were treated at the outpatient units and almost 280 000 were internally displaced. One hospital and 291 buildings were damaged. The main health problems were: burns and acute respiratory tract infections. The influx of patients was beyond the capacity of the hospitals. The medical supplies necessary to manage such cases were exhausted.

Funds allocated

At the request of the Ministry of Health, supported by the WHO Representative to Indonesia, US $ 175 000 was allocated for the emergency from SEARHEF to procure the necessary medical supplies and equipment to provide health care support to the victims.

A shelter where the displaced population was provided basic needs
A shelter where the displaced population was provided basic needs

How it made a difference

SEARHEF was swiftly mobilized not only to meet the urgently needed interventions but also to strengthen the capacity of Dr Sardjito Hospital to meet any similar emergency in the future. During the period 20 November 2010 to 18 January 2011, a total of 294 patients were admitted and 476 were treated at the out-patient clinics.

Procuring essential medicines and equipment

With SEARHEF support, essential drugs and supplies were speedily procured and distributed to ensure the speedy recovery and health of the people, and prevent disease outbreaks.

Road in nearby town covered in volcanic material
Road in nearby town covered in volcanic material

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment of the situation and followup assessments were done to evaluate the impact of the eruption and the gaps that had to be filled for health care response.

Provision of essential health care

Supplies and drugs were provided to rapid response teams that were mobilized by Ministry of Health and to the Dr Sardjito Hospital to provide essential health care services to the victims.

SEARHEF supported prompt delivery of needed interventions and strengthened the capacity of Dr Sardjito Hospital for future emergencies