One Thousand Family's Evacuated
This week it was announced that 1000 families would be evacuated from their homes in the town of Muisne.
This area has been badly hit by earthquakes. On 10/07/2016, this town suffered 16 earthquakes in 24 hours.
I was working in the area when the second big earthquake hit this area. Just before 3 am I was thrown from my bed by a 6.3 and then a 5.7 earthquake.
I was mobilized from the base I was in called Same. A driver and two student paramedics and myself were sent to Muisne as that was the epicenter of the earthquakes.
As we made our way there, we had to navigate over roads that had been pushed up and in some places there were wide cracks. The worst part was when we had to use machetes to cut through the trees that had fallen and were blocking the roads.
It took an hour to get there; we found people in the streets and on waste ground. On our way there, I had worked out a plan of action; when we got there, that went out the window.
As our ambulance came to a stop, we were approached by many people. The two students were not prepared for this, and they themselves almost became victims.
I had to pull them away and explain to them that we are here for these people and that the best thing they could do was to provide hope and be calm.
A great number of people were suffering from shock and in need of TLC. Having a limited supply of drugs, I resorted to giving the students pain meds, to give to the non-injured victims.
The students had no experience and I had to explain that the meds were pseudomedicine, which means if there is no apparent injury and they are displaying distress, then you calm them down and offer them this med saying it will calm them down in about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, sit them down, and make sure that they are comfortable. For the children, we have Pediialyte. This will help them cope with the situation while I treat the injured.
There were a lot of soft tissue injuries and a few fractures, and I had two ladies in labour.
We worked hard and did what we could. We were the only medical support in the area for four hours. I had triaged the patients, and was thankful that all went well, especially with the two births.
We worked for 16 hours that day, and when we returned to our base, we had time to eat and shower, and then we were out to another emergency.
The students were now field-hardened and we were thankful for the experience. I just wanted to give you some idea of what had to be dealt with in that area.
Now, the threat level in that area is so bad that all the families are being evacuated. They will be housed in converted containers supplied by the Red Cross.