While the year 2010 was a busy year for natural disasters, it was also a busy year for volunteers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 62.8 million people volunteered their time to help those around them from September 2009 – September 2010. If you are thinking of taking a medical mission trip trip or offering your services as a disaster relief volunteer, familiarize yourself with the facts about ecological hazards across the globe and the volunteer efforts that followed.
Earthquakes are some of the most destructive natural phenomena around, especially when they happen near the sea. The earthquakes in Haiti and Indonesia highlighted the devastation brought about by earthquakes and the ensuing destruction, flooding and disease.
Be sure to check the conditions under which you’re traveling when you go on your medical mission trip.
|Haiti - January 12, 2010||7.0||Haitian government reports over 300,000 deaths, 300,000 injuries, and 1,000,000 homeless. International agencies report between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths and between 1.5 and 1.8 million homeless.||Following the earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, thousands of aid workers, volunteers, and humanitarian groups from all over the world joined government efforts to help survivors, send medical aid, food, fuel, and other resources. Heart to Heart, a medical education, aid, and crisis response organization sent 300 medical volunteers to Haiti along with $16 million in medical aid to temporary clinics in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and Fondwa.|
|Indonesia - April 6, 2010||7.8||62 injuries||Mercy Relief, a humanitarian charity organization, sent a medical relief team to help with the medical needs of those that were injured by establishing mobile clinics.|
|Indonesia - October 25, 2010||7.7||The tsunami that followed this quake destroyed 4,000 homes, killed 435 people, and has left 100 more people still missing.||Habitat for Humanity Indonesia has an open volunteer program for continued recovery following the earthquakes of 2010. In 2010, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia brought together 6300 local and international volunteers to rebuild homes.|
|Dates||June to August 2010|
|Average Temperature||Over 100 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Impact||An estimated 15,000 people died in Moscow alone because of the high temperatures. Wildfires destroyed nearly 3,000 square miles of wilderness. The loss of grain cost the Russian economy an estimated fifteen billion dollars.|
|Response||After a call for aid, 1500 volunteers responded within 48 hours to help extinguish wildfires in the Central Federal District of Russia.|
|Dates||Began July 26, 2010, damage persists today|
|Spread of Flood||Approximately 796,095 square miles were flooded, or 1/5 of Pakistan's total land area.|
|Impact||Nearly 20 million people lost property or were displaced from their homes during this flood.|
|Response||The Internal Medical Corps provided 985,480 health consultations in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Punjab, and Sindh Province following the flooding in Pakistan.|
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