My Mission in the Earthquake Zone (Part 2)

by Steffen Richter, 2007/09/28

Many children have suffered as a result of the earthquake

„There are many places where our help is needed, and the people are thankful for every helping hand. Even the mayor from Pisco has helped us, as much as possible, with our work and with the distribution of supplies such as clothes, food, tents and drinking water. But when one looks at him, one sees saddened eyes: he lost his family in the earthquake.

Just like every disaster, the earthquake has hit the weakest members of the population the hardest. The elderly and the children have no one to take care of them now. They’ve become sick from the dry, stuffy air and are suffering now from bronchitis and influenza infections. In addition, the chronically ill, like those suffering from diabetes, aren’t able to acquire the needed medicines and don’t receive regular meals. As a result they can’t keep their sickness under control and this causes significant problems.

But the citizens of Pisco are holding it together. Directly following the earthquake the people mainly took care of themselves and helped one another out. The people from Lima have generously offered up everything possible. One can feel a great unity between the people – regardless of how they look or their social status. They understand that only by working together and supporting one another can they deal with the problems and difficulties. Owners of inhabitable houses have made their private homes available for our examinations. So much here is commendable, like for example the organization and order in the hospitals. Even the transferring of patients runs smoothly.

Our quarters are in Paracas, a city situated directly on a beautiful bay, eight kilometers south from San Andreas, a suburb of Pisco. We live simply, with three people to a tent or a small room, cold water, and we take care of our own meals.

In order to be able to effectively coordinate our aid, delegates from each organization meet two-times a day in the hospital. There, information is exchanged and the operations coordinated. Only by working together can we tackle such a disaster.” (To be continued)

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