A third earthquake of magnitude-6 that struck Lombok late yesterday has severely escalated the need for life-saving aid and has slowed down rescue efforts.
Monday’s magnitude-6.9 quake, the largest so far, reportedly killed more than 350 people and destroyed the homes of more than 150,000 people. Many people caught in the rubble of collapsed buildings and in mudslides are still awaiting rescue.
Before the latest tremor, the Indonesian Agency for Disaster Mitigation said the death toll and damage could be higher with conditions making it extremely difficult to assess the devastation. Earlier reports suggested at least 600,000 people had suffered from the impact of the three big quakes and hundreds of aftershocks over the past two weeks.
With the latest quake adding to the tens of thousands of people already sleeping in temporary shelters and under open skies, there is an increasing need for water, food, shelter, medical supplies, and other essentials.
Local partner organisations supported by Oxfam have been on the ground in Lombok since the first big quake and are assisting 5,000 people with clean drinking water, food, and tarpaulin sheets, with plans to increase the delivery of aid.
Oxfam Indonesia’s Oxfam Project Manager based on Lombok, Meili Narti, said that to facilitate the operations of local humanitarian partners, an emergency relief information centre has been set up.
“The people on Lombok are severely traumatised. They’ve lost family members or don’t know where they are. In many areas, more than 80 per cent of buildings, roads and other facilities have been destroyed. It’s a struggle to find water, food, electricity and other essentials.
“We’re trying to get aid to them as fast as we can. We also want to help them deal with the trauma too, but it’s difficult, and progress is slow due to conditions on the ground. We thank the government and local organisations for their tremendous efforts, but we need to do more” said Ms Narti.
While all Oxfam partners and staff on Lombok are safe, many project sites have been hit hard by the quakes halting regular operations and some partner staff have lost their houses. However, they continue to provide emergency aid to those affected.
For interviews with Oxfam staff in Indonesia or Australia, or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxfam local partners include: Gema Alam, Santai, LBH Apik NTB, KPI NTB, KONSEPSI, KOSLATA, PKBI NTB, Akapela, YLKMP and Amanda.