Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Disaster Response Team (DRT) has been dispatched to Indonesia to manage relief efforts on the island of Sulawesi.
Almost 1,000 villages have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami, with the death toll of 1,400 expected to rise higher.
Urgently needed goods such as technical equipment, water, tents, fuel and food are being flown into Balikpapan International Airport, with the team providing logistics support in collaboration with local staff and humanitarian organisations at local airports.
On 4 October, the team received the official mandate from the government of Indonesia through the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management and ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management to support humanitarian logistics in Palu, ground zero of the tsunami on the island of Sulawesi, and in Balikpapan, a seaport city on the east cost of Borneo.
Two DRT teams are being set up, one at Balikpapan where the airport will function as the staging area for incoming assistance into Palu, and the other at a distribution centre close to Palu’s airport to handle and store relief goods.
More volunteers are on standby and ready for deployment once the government has coordinated the flow of international aid into Indonesia.
DPDHL GoHelp Manager for Asia Pacific, Carl Schelfhaut says only very small propeller aircraft and military aircraft can land at Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport due to the collapse of the tower so Sultan Aji Muhammed Sulaiman Airport in Balikpapan is being set up as the humanitarian hub to source and sort incoming relief.
He says: “With the airport in Palu partially ready to receive goods, the Indonesia National Armed Forces, along with selected foreign forces from countries like Australia, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore are ferrying C-130 and C-17 type aircraft from Balikpapan to Palu. These aircraft will serve the dual purpose of transporting aid to Palu and then returning with evacuees. The DRT will be on-site in both locations to assist with ground handling.”
Schelfhaut adds: “Managing relief goods logistics is crucial in the aftermath of natural disasters. As a logistics company we have the skills that can save lives – we help ensure that relief goods are processed quickly so that they reach the people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami as quickly as possible.”