Smoke and commotion filled the air of Bata, the economic capital of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday March 7 on the afternoon, following five massive blasts at a nearby military camp. Images of the devastation, as well as accounts from eyewitnesses, augur a death toll well over the hundred mark, with hundreds more injured.
The government is ill-equipped to conduct a thorough search and rescue mission and to provide housing to the hundreds of displaced families. Moreover, the health infrastructure is overwhelmed. Doctors and nurses, medicine, mental health services and blood supply are scarce in a system that has been chronically underfunded under the Obiang regime.
The blast has devastated homes, buildings and infrastructure throughout Bata. Resources and volunteers will be required to recover bodies and rebuild the city.
Bodies line the streets, with many more still trapped in the rubble. Emergency services are stretched to their limits. Reports have come in of the injured laying on the floors of hospitals and clinics filled past capacity. A sports stadium has been converted into a treatment center to cope with the lack of room in hospitals. Ambulance services have given way to pick up trucks carrying bodies to hospitals.
The affected families will need support for months to come. The best way to ensure aid is given directly to those in need, is to provide this support to local NGOs, clinics and pharmacies.
We are profoundly grateful for your generosity and partnership at this critical time!