An Islamic Relief team was distributing aid in North Lombok when a third earthquake struck today with a magnitude of 6.2, compounding the destruction from two earlier earthquakes.
Islamic Relief’s country director, Nanang Dirja, who is currently in Jenggala in West Nusa Tenggara, said:
“People were running for their lives and screaming in complete panic. Once the earthquake had subsided, people were wandering around and crying; pregnant women, mothers with babies, and the elderly. I saw at least four people who were badly injured.”
He added: “Ambulance sirens were going off everywhere, picking up the injured.”
Islamic Relief is trying to reach areas that have not yet received any aid and are now focussing on four villages in North Lombok, including Jenggala, Sokong, Tegal Maja and Tanjung. A bridge en route to Jenggala from Mataram City had collapsed and they had to travel the last part on motorbikes.
“People have been too scared to stay in their homes, if they hadn’t already been destroyed and have been sleeping in the open air for the past week,” explained Nanang. “Some of them have small bits of tarpaulin but it is not adequate protection. And they are drinking water from the irrigation systems which is not safe, clean drinking water.”
Islamic Relief distributed emergency food supplies, clean drinking water, tarpaulin and blankets to 1,000 people in Tanjung sub-district, including 125 people in Jenggala village. In the next few weeks they hope to reach 10,000 people who have not yet received any aid. Many of the markets have closed and we are having to procure aid items outside of the island.
“This is a real humanitarian crisis opening up before our eyes. People don’t even have the basic essentials. And they are petrified that there will be another earthquake soon. We are all praying that this doesn’t happen and working hard trying to reach those areas that have nothing as soon as we can.
“Islamic Relief’s experience in dealing with earthquakes shows that the road to recovery is long, as people’s lives and livelihoods will need to be rebuilt. We will be working with communities to ensure that the road to recovery is as smooth as possible.”