I
spent 7 pm to 1am in the public hospital in Denpasar, at the hotline
centre. The situation was so very different to last time in so many
ways – of course still very distressing to see the lists grow, to meet
with families, to see the disruption. However it was amazing to see how
much we have learned since 2002.

The emergency services kicked
in very fast, the President came ASAP – I saw his cortege as I arrived
at the hospital. We now have the state-of-the-art Burns Unit donated by
the Oz government after last time, and we have all learned how to respond
FAST but in a careful manner so we can be efficient and timely, eg
monitoring the supply of medicines, list information, food for morgue
workers, etc.

Plus
communications, the phone companies brought
phones in fast and free, there was only one hotline centre, so I saw no
signs of panic or volunteer stress – in fact there were more volunteers
than were needed, so we all debated about who should be sent home.

And
particularly heartening is to see the tourists’ response – they did not
go in droves like before – we hear of very few check-outs, I guess
there will be cancellations, but it was wonderful to see how busy Ubud
centre was yesterday (Sunday), and to see the determination and joy with which
all concerned urged the Ubud Writers festival to even greater heights of “Bali is Peace.”

So, thank you for all your messages of support – Bali is reeling, but the sense of global solidarity is very powerful.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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