Lombok earthquake: eight days later – Indonesia
“I live near the beach. I’m too scared to go home now – that’s why I stayed with my two sons here in the camp. My husband is a fisherman. He went fishing today but only caught 10 fish, which is not enough to sell to buy milk for my sons.
– Ibu Eli, who lives in the Rembiga Field camp.
When a 7.0 magnitude aftershock rocked Lombok, Indonesia on August 5, it seemed like everyone involved in disaster response was still busy responding to the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on August 5. July 29.
It was all over the news. This strong aftershock had plunged everyone in Lombok, including tourists, into panic. My friends know that I am an aid worker and they have all started contacting me to ask if I know about the latest conditions in Lombok. Everyone is ready to help, to donate.
I was immediately in contact with Humanitarian Forum Indonesia, to see what other members of HFI were doing. I know some of the members were already in Lombok after the first earthquake. I knew, however, that the National Disaster Management Agency had said that Indonesia did not need international assistance to respond. I didn’t know what this meant for CWS, which is an international organization with a local office in Indonesia.
What I did know, however, was that our team – like teams from all local organizations – were gravely concerned for the hundreds of people who were killed and the thousands who were injured or lost their homes in the quakes. earthen.
It didn’t take long for our team to find a way to engage in the humanitarian response in Lombok. I am the team’s Disaster Risk Management Specialist, and we suggested that I could be seconded (loaned) to the HFI team in Lombok to help coordinate and support the response. So I flew to Lombok on Sunday with a member of the HFI staff.
When we landed in Lombok, we went directly north to Lombok, the worst affected area. On the way, we passed the village of Senggigi, one of the famous tourist areas and the gateway to the popular Gili Islands. Many hotel buildings were damaged and guests were missing.
As we got closer to the north of Lombok, all houses, schools and other buildings were badly damaged. The people were just sitting in front of their collapsed houses. I guess they were trying to figure out what to do next. Women and children gathered in makeshift tents by the side of the road or in their fields.
It was a devastating sight to see.
We arrived at the command post, where we met those responsible for the intervention. We have embarked on coordination meetings and what we call a joint needs assessment analysis. This means that we strategize on the main needs and how to meet them effectively and efficiently.
Then I took the time to visit the city of Mataram because I had heard that some areas of the city had also been affected. I visited a large field near the hostel where I was staying called Rembiga Field. It had become a camp for internally displaced people. They were mostly women and children who lived here in makeshift tents. They surrounded me when I tried to talk to a woman.
“I came from the North Lombok district because my house collapsed” said a woman.
“There is still no help that has come to us”, another said. Her friend intervened: _ “Well, there was help like food and snacks, but it was not enough because there were too many of us.” _ She continued, _ “We need to diapers and milk for babies. “_
It had been eight days since the earthquake rocked the island, and reports were still emerging that many areas had yet to receive aid. I was happy to be there, to work alongside others to make sure these women, and the thousands of others who have been affected, can get the help they need.
This blog was written by Mathilde Hutagaol, CWS Disaster Risk Management Specialist, on August 13, while in Lombok. She will provide another update in the coming days.