Sumatra quake: Hospital in need too

Credit: James Alcock/Caritas

Scenes of destruction at the hospital. Photo By James Alcock/Caritas

By Tim O’Connor, Caritas Australia

By Tim O’Connor, Caritas Australia

Caitas Fr. Laruffa Aldo has been living in Padang now for 52 years. Although originally from Italy, he now says, “I’m an Indonesian”.

“This hospital started as just a one room clinic”, he said. It is a remarkable achievement seeing the current sprawling three level building that until last week’s earthquake could hold up to 150 people. It had an additional emergency clinic, intensive care unit and all the facilities of a modern hospital.

On 30 September, Fr Aldo’s work was shattered. The hospital building now has been left a twisted and mangled shell by the earthquake.

It is a miracle that no one was killed as the top floors at the front of the building shifted off their foundations, sending concrete and debris falling throughout the building. A miracle perhaps but one that was certainly assisted by a well developed and understood evacuation plan, testament to the successful manner in which the hospital is run.

“We are having a very difficult time at the moment. We have temporary clinics set up in front and behind the hospital delivering free emergency assistance to those who affected by the earthquake. Out doctors, nurses and staff have been working virtually around the clock. We have no money coming in and we have the added problem of a building that is likely to collapse.”

“It gives me a headache”, he said. He smiles in a manner which makes you think this man will certainly do all he can to ensure the people of Padang will continue to get top level medical care into the future.

1 Comment

Filed under Asia, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Indonesia

One response to “Sumatra quake: Hospital in need too

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