INDONESIA EARTHQUAKEA powerful earthquake, measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale, hit Lombok during the evening of Sunday 5 August. The epicentre was located on land, 22km northeast of North Lombok and was reported to have tsunami potential. Approximately 130 aftershocks have been measured since then, two of which have been reported to have had a magnitude above 5.2, sending fresh waves of panic among residents and tourists. The tsunami threat has since subsided, but given the country’s history and its susceptibility to natural disasters, the suggestion of a possible tsunami has caused chaos in Lombok and nearby islands, with thousands gathering on the overcrowded beaches in hope of evacuation.
98 people have tragically lost their lives. This number is set to rise over the coming days, as rescue workers begin to dig through the rubble. Without the aid they so desperately need, this number could increase beyond measure, as the long-term effects of this disaster could have devastating consequences in terms of food security, water, sanitation, and health.The island is in severe need of medical aid, as emergency rooms are overflowing with patients, forcing doctors to treat the injured outside. The main hospital in North Lombok has been severely damaged, along with 80% of the regions infrastructure. An estimated 20,000 have been displaced by the earthquake, having lost their homes. Many others are too frightened to return to their houses due to the threat of further catastrophe. Shelter is therefore an area of key priority, as those that have been displaced desperately need protection. There have been reports from survivors that the island is in chaos, with a severe shortage of food. The locals are frantic, and with the situation deteriorating rapidly, hope is dwindling fast. The victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy are in desperate need of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. Without these, this disaster is certain to escalate beyond measure.