Palu, Indonesia Response

GER3 ResponsE to Earthquake & Tsunami

On September 28th, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake  occurred  near  the  central island  of  Sulawesi, Indonesia. The  devastating  earthquake and related tsunami left over 2,010 dead and thousands in need of immediate  assistance. In response, GER3 deployed a disaster response and recovery team to conduct initial assessments, deliver assistance and design programming focused on debris management and building back better. GER3 targeted support to local communities (households, schools and health facilities) and supported the management of debris and shelter challenges they faced. The GER3 team quickly expanded on site, including the addition of several Indonesian team members and procurement of local equipment (generators, excavators, bulldozers, etc).

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GER3 developed programming with partners (Indonesian Red Cross and the government) to meet immediate and longer-term needs in a manner that respected local practices, was sustainable and highly impactful. The team implemented the following approach to debris management:

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  GER3 President and Founder, Langdon Greenhalgh, photographed above working with local school officials and partners in Palu.

GER3 President and Founder, Langdon Greenhalgh, photographed above working with local school officials and partners in Palu.

Support included clearing schools in Palu which were severely affected by flooding and debris. The team cleared sites and led demolition activities, assessing which materials could be salvaged and reused. The GER3 team also supported community workers with tools and safety equipment to clean the classrooms and other academic buildings. This included conducting a safety briefing with teachers and workers at worksites.

  During GER3’s first site inspection of this school (photograph on left) in Palu, the site was covered in over 6 inches of water. Thankfully the water quickly drained and the team was able to use an excavator to clear remaining debris. The GER3 team also led safety briefings at local schools and worksites (photograph on right).

During GER3’s first site inspection of this school (photograph on left) in Palu, the site was covered in over 6 inches of water. Thankfully the water quickly drained and the team was able to use an excavator to clear remaining debris. The GER3 team also led safety briefings at local schools and worksites (photograph on right).

In addition to schools, GER3 supported the demolition, clearing and preparation of various other sites with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the government of Indonesia. The team supported PMI to prepare land for new IDP camps, which required removal of rocks and debris and leveling of sites to accommodate tents for families who had been displaced.

  The site pictured above required the removal of large rocks and leveling of the site to accommodate 240 family tents.

The site pictured above required the removal of large rocks and leveling of the site to accommodate 240 family tents.

GER3 is proud to have been one of the only international organizations operational in Indonesia conducting debris management work after the earthquake/tsunami. The Indonesian government continually requested GER3 support with debris management so that their communities could get back on their feet as quickly as possible.