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Deutsche Post DHL (DP DHL) has deployed its Disaster Response Team (DRT) to Indonesia in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Almost 1,000 villages have been affected by the disaster and the death toll has so far risen to more than 1,400 and 60,000 have lost their homes.

Two DRT teams are being set up to support the request, one at Balikpapan where its international airport will function as the staging area for incoming international assistance into Palu, and the other at a distribution centre close to the airport in Palu to handle and store relief goods.

Urgently needed goods such as technical equipment, water, tents, fuel and food are currently being flown to Balikpapan.

The response team provide logistics support in close collaboration with local staff and humanitarian organisations at local airports, helping to manage incoming aid for further distribution to those in need.

More DHL volunteers are on standby and ready for deployment once the government has coordinated the flow of international aid into Indonesia.

Carl Schelfhaut, GoHelp manager, Asia Pacific, DP DHL said: “Due to a collapse of the tower at Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport, only very small propeller aircrafts and military airplanes can land.

“That is why Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport in Balikpapan is being set up as the main humanitarian relief hub where sourcing and sorting of incoming relief goods will take place.

“With the airport in Palu partially ready to receive goods, the Indonesia National Armed Forces, along with selected foreign forces from countries like Australia, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore are ferrying C-130 and C-17 type aircraft from Balikpapan to Palu.

“These aircraft will serve the dual purpose of transporting aid to Palu and then returning with evacuees. The DRT will be on-site in both locations to assist with ground handling.”

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