News Alert: 10,000 Displaced by Indonesia Earthquake, Mercy Corps Initiates Emergency Response
Mercy Corps Indonesia is initiating a rapid response to the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck West Java, Indonesia on Monday, November 21, killing more than 160 people, injuring hundreds, displacing more than 10,000 people, and damaging thousands of homes. The full extent of earthquake damage is still unknown as search and rescue efforts continue, with at least 25 people reportedly still buried under collapsed buildings as of Monday night, and potentially others unaccounted for in landslides and debris.
Mercy Corps’ Indonesia Response Team will begin its emergency response in Cianjur areas by initially distributing 150+ shelter and kitchen kits. While authorities continue a search and rescue operation, anxious communities are in desperate need of food, water, and shelter after seeing their homes and livelihoods destroyed. We are coordinating with local officials and other organizations to ensure we are able to effectively scale up and reach as many of the most-affected people as possible.
Piva Bell, Mercy Corps Indonesia Response Team Manager says
“Access to electricity and the internet is patchy, so in the worst-damaged villages in Cianjur we still don’t fully know how bad it is as search and rescue efforts continue. People are terrified as they are still experiencing frequent aftershocks with magnitude 1.5 to 4.8 Richter. We know there were landslides on two main roads going to and from Cianjur, which could further hamper access and the ability to conduct recovery efforts. At least one village is completely isolated with no heavy equipment to clear the landslide.
“Based on what we’re hearing from the local government, the most urgent needs are tents and shelter supplies, clean water, access to electricity, communal kitchen access for cooking, and mattresses, especially for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, and the elderly.”
Mercy Corps has worked in Indonesia for more than 20 years, and its Indonesia Response Team has responded to recent significant natural disasters, including the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake, 2016 Aceh earthquake, and the 2021 eruption of Mount Semeru. As an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands situated on the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific, Indonesia experiences frequent natural disasters of different sizes, including earthquakes, flooding and other damage from severe storms. Our Indonesia Response Team is accustomed to deploying quickly to assess damage from emergencies like this one, and working swiftly to connect people with what they need most.