Local response has been quick but gaps still remain in the aftermath of the Indonesian earthquake

On Saturday, an earthquake of 6,2 magnitude shook Java island in Indonesia. More than 5,000 people died, according to UN agencies, around 20,000 people had been injured and some 200,000 people left homeless.

The epicentre has been reported close to the town of Bantul (two hours by car from Yogyakarta). Most affected areas are Bantul, Yogyakarta and Klaten. Since Saturday, there have been more than 450 aftershocks

About 35,000 buildings in and around Yogyakarta were reduced to rubble


Two MSF teams, consisting of doctors, nurses, psychologists and logisticians, are visiting villages in the area around Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where insufficient aid has arrived after Saturday's earthquake.

On May 27, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale struck the region.

The MSF teams offer basic medical care, including treatment of injuries. The psychologists are organising information and discussion sessions to help people understand the mental trauma they may be suffering after the earthquake, and offer counselling to people who are having psychosomatic complaints.

"The local response to the emergency has been quick and efficient," said MSF Emergency Coordinator, Dr Nathalie Civet, while explaining the situation. "The threat of a volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Merapi meant that national emergency services were already on stand-by in the area and were able to mobilise immediately. Nevertheless, there are still gaps in the care being offered, and some people continue to wait in the rain without shelter, food or basic survival items."

Tomorrow (Thursday) MSF will receive another freight of relief supplies - 2,000 kitchen sets (10 tons) - and will start distribution of non-food items in villages that have been heavily affected by the earthquake. Over the past three days, MSF has already donated medical and non-medical supplies to hospital and health structures.

Distributions to families include hygiene items, blankets, soap, cooking pots, as well as tools and materials necessary for basic construction and protection from the rain, such as hammers, nails, wood and plastic sheeting.

Additional MSF workers continue to visit villages, assessing needs and trying to make sure no communities will be overlooked.

"This will not be a massive distribution involving extensive assessments, coordination and days of planning," said Dr Civet "Our priority is to get our aid into the hands of those who need it without any delay. We are helping to bridge the gap until a larger aid deployment can begin."

MSF teams first arrived on Yogyakarta on Saturday evening, twelve hours after the earthquake. Over the following days they sent medical teams to assess communities, health facilities and camps.

On Monday morning two nephrologists - kidney specialists - arrived to make sure that health structures have the equipment and technical expertise to identify and treat 'Crush Syndrome', a common and potentially lethal affection in the aftermath of earthquakes as people are often crushed under the rubble and internal organs are injured.