Okinawa-based Marines, sailors respond to Indonesian earthquake
By Lance Cpl. Warren Peace
| | May 30, 2006
JAVA, Indonesia --
Medical experts from the III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan, visited hospitals and medical clinics near Bantul, Indonesia, May 31 in the wake of a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. While at the medical facilities, the service members helped treat patients injured from the disaster.
The team of about 100 Okinawa-based Marines and sailors continue to arrive at the Indonesian government’s request for assistance, and those already present also saw their first patients today in temporary medical facilities they established in a soccer field in Sewon, near Yogyakarta, to help relieve the overflow of patients from local hospitals. Victims treated included those with fractures, burns and other injuries sustained during the earthquake.
The temporary facility will be fully functional tomorrow, complete with surgical, acute and primary care, laboratory, dental, x-ray and preventive medicine capabilities.
“The physicians here are doing an excellent job,” said Lt. Cmdr. Carlos D. Godinez, a III Marine Expeditionary Force surgeon stationed in Okinawa, Japan. “Their biggest problem the Indonesian hospitals are having is an overflow of patients. I expected orthopedic injuries, but not of this severity. It’s almost overwhelming.”