Friday, 17 July 2009

Hotel bombings in Jakarta


Red Cross volunteers remove a body from the JW Marriot hotel.

This morning I got a phone call at 07.43 a.m. from my colleague Javier, saying, " I heard an explosion and just looked out the window and I can see smoke pouring out of the Marriot Hotel."

Within minutes the Indonesian Red Cross Society had deployed seven ambulances and 42 disaster response volunteers and paramedics.
Those volunteers have been providing first aid and other humanitarian support at both locations, as well as at hospitals where the injured have been transported.


PMI volunteers preparing a stretcher to carry out the injured to hospital.


Volunteers from the Indonesian Red Cross Society responded immediatedly.

"Our medical team evacuated five injured people from JW Marriot Hotel to the hospital," says Rukman, a senior disaster management officer with the Indonesian Red Cross Society, which is known domestically at Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI).

Two restoring family links teams are working with hospitals to identify those who were lost or injured so that families can be informed. PMI also responded to requests from hospitals for Rhesus A-Negative blood for survivors, and is coordinating with the expatriate emergency blood donor committee to be ready in mobilizing volunteers with Rhesus A-Negative blood type if required.

>
The PMI (Indonesian Red Cross) were on the scene quickly working with the Police after the bomb blasts.


As soon as I arrived at work this morning I switched on the TV and watched the drama unfolding while dealing with international media from Australia, Bangkok, London and Oslo.

I met the Chairman and Secretary General PMI and offered help.

Later in the day our Disaster Management Coordinator Wayne Ulrich de-briefed the brave PMI emergency teams when they returned to HQ. It is no easy task attending to the injured and removing dead bodies after a bomb blast. They desribed gruesome scenes to Wayne. Adding to the pressure and uncertainty is always the chance of another blast. i really admire these gutsy volunteers.




I was saddened to read that one of the foreigners killed was a New Zealander, Tim Mackay whose photo is above. He is one of nine people killed when bombs went off at the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels in Jakarta. Mr Mackay, 62, had gone to the Marriott Hotel for a business meeting.
Thirteen other foreigners were among 50 injured in the blasts, the Associated Press reported.
The facade was ripped off the Ritz in the powerful blasts.
A further unexploded bomb has since been found at the Marriott Hotel, Indonesian police said.

Last night (Thursday night) I was invited out to a dinner in one of the top Jakarta hotels for a farewell party for a senior UN leader. Some top politicians were there for the three hour function. As I was carefully checked by security officials, a thoughi crossed through my mind, " we could so readily be targets here."

When your number is up, its up!

Thanks to Jasom Smith IFRC, KL and PMI for permission to use photos.

65 comments:

Conneally said...

Dear Bob - thx for this post. We are following closely from afar. We will re-post this on the IFRC facebook, twitter feed and ifrc.org (a first?) if you agree (and also on head down eyes open) -- Paul Conneally.

Bob McKerrow said...

Paul

I support anythging that will communicate 'man's inhumanity to man.'

Go for it mate.

Bob

pohanginapete said...

Bob, I got out of the Ruahine yesterday afternoon and heard about this; my first thought was to hope you weren't among the injured. I'm so relieved to hear you're okay; at the same time I'm deeply distressed at yet another example of this kind of malevolence. Best wishes for staying safe, Bob.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
I concur with Pete. Glad you are safe.
Cheers,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Robb

Thanks for your concern. A terrible, tragic event for Indonesia.

bob

Marja said...

I saw it on the news. Very shocking that these things happen I know that it is not the first time it happens in Jakarta
A sister of a dutch friend of mine lived in Jakarta years ago and had to leave because this beautiful country had so many problems
Good that the Red Cross is so well organised. I made a new friend at work who has lived in Tanzania for years as a volunteer and told me stories how badly charity is organised there
Anyway I noticed you are coming back to Christchurch and hope you have a great time

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Hello Bob

So sad indeed and my heart goes out to the family of those killed in the blast. When I heard the news on my computer my thoughts were on you and was overjoyed when I knew for sure that you were not in harms way. Oh, when will this bloodshed end...So many inocent lives have been taken by cowards.

Take care
Paterika

Bob McKerrow said...

Good morning Marja

What has happend in Jakarta is tragic because there has been peaceful elections, a democratically elected President and parlaiment, and it was so peaceful here. The people are very resilient and I am convinced it will get back to bormal very quickly.

Thanks for your comment.

Warm wishes

Bob

Bob McKerrow said...

Good morning Paterika

I too hope this bloodshed perpertrated by 'cowards' as you aptly describe them, will stop. The Indonesian people only want peace, and this is what they will get. The Government has worked tirelessly to rid its shores of terrorist and has almost succeeded.

I pray for peace.

Bob

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Pete

It must have been cold in the Ruahines. Thanks for your thoughts and concerns Pete. As I have said to the others, all the people here want is peace. The deserve it.

Bob

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Thanks Bob for sharing the information about Hotel bombings in Jakarta. This happen, many of peoples emigration to others countries.

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