Experiences of Mother and Indonesian Doctors During Earthquake in West Sumatra in 2009

Semiarty, Rima and Dasman, Hardisman (2014) Experiences of Mother and Indonesian Doctors During Earthquake in West Sumatra in 2009. The Malaysian Family Physician, 9 (Supl.1). pp. 6-8. ISSN 1985-207X (Print) 1985-2274 (Electronic)

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Introduction: West Sumatra as a region lies along the Indian Ocean and at the equator area. The province also has a large number of volcanoes, of which several are active. Sometimes the volcanoes cause a small thrill, which we consider as a small earthquake. Due to this, the inhabitants of the province frequently face this experience and constantly worry about the possibility of a big volcano earthquake. At the same time, the Sumatra island is also situated between Eurasian and Indo-Australian geological plates. The geological condition contributes to vulnerability of the region to natural disaster, which may be risk of tectonic earthquakes. A big tectonic earthquake occurred in 2004 in the Aceh province, which caused tsunami, and in West Sumatra province in 2009. As doctors in Padang, the capital of the province, we experienced the moment in 2009, both as inhabitants of the city and medical professionals. This paper will describe those experiences from both sides. The paper will benefit for implementing better preparation during disasters in the future. Methods: This report has been developed using qualitative inquiry. Data were primarily obtained from government reports, personal observations and experiences. As the nature of qualitative methodology, this report does not have any intention to make generalisation people experience during the disaster in Indonesia or in the Sumatra region. However, this report aims to provide a deeper understanding of the situation after the earthquake in West Sumatra in 2009 and our experiences during the moment. Situation and Experience: The West Sumatra province had about 5 million people, of which nearly one-third of them lived along the coastal area. After the Aceh tsunami in December 2004, many West Sumatran people were afraid of the Megatrust earthquake that might happen near Mentawai Islands. Moreover, the first big earthquake with a magnitude of about 6 RS happened in the West Sumatra province. The tectonic earthquake also triggered the volcanoes to be more active and cause thrills. This experience made many people more anxious and worried and believed that the Megatrust is inevitable. Finally, the biggest ever earthquake in West Sumatra occurred on 30 September 2009 in the late afternoon at 4:30 PM. The earthquake magnitude was 7.9 RS as officially reported. This big earthquake caused many life casualties and damages in seven districts and municipalities in the province. It was reported that 1117 people died, 1214 were severely injured and more than 135,000 houses and buildings collapsed. The big quake was followed by countless medium and small quakes during the night and within 24 hours. Major building collapses and fire also occurred in Padang, the capital city of the province, where we experienced the moment. Despite having a negative impact, the authority had to stop electricity supply to stop more devastating effects. The situation was worsened as the water treatment plant of the city collapsed, shutting down the water supply. Soon after the first shock, many people ran onto the roads and tried to find the highest location possible due to fear and possibility of tsunami. The situation in the hospitals in the city was also the same and all people panicked. Even Djamil General Hospital, the main referral hospital in West Sumatra, faced major devastation. The four-level outpatient building of the hospital collapsed to the ground. As mother (Dr Rima), all experiences of that moment will give me more value of family strength and role of mother. As doctors, we joined the health volunteer coordinators the next day by opening many field clinics for emergency treatments. In the following days during the week, we also contributed by receiving and distributing donations through ‘Ropanasuri Care’ on behalf of Dr Rima’s own private hospital, Emergency Team of Faculty of Andalas University and coordinating with the local people. Recommendation: The big earthquake taught the lesson that, as a region in ‘Megatrust’, disasters may come at any time. The inhabitants and especially doctors must be prepared. One of the methods to improve knowledge and awareness of people towards this situation is to do a disaster simulation. Social relationships within the neighbourhood have to be maintained and improved, which will be very crucial during critical moments and disasters. Improving family strength, trust and harmony is very important to face hard times and for resilience.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: A General Works > AI Indexes (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Fakultas Kedokteran
Depositing User: Mr Pebriyantoson Soni
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 11:49
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 11:49
URI: http://repo.unand.ac.id/id/eprint/7127

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