Indonesia

Indonesia: Death toll continues to rise, thousands remain displaced

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Several earthquakes have occurred on the island of Lombok in Indonesia in the past few weeks. According to the Indonesian Government 321 people have died, over 1,000 people have been seriously injured, more than 270,168 have been made homeless.

The first strong earthquake hit the island on 29 July, it measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. This was followed by a series of aftershocks. On 5 August, the island was hit by another strong earthquake, this one measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

Yesterday the island was again hit with another earthquake, this one measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale.

The number of casualties are likely to increase as many people are trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. Thousands of homes have collapsed, key infrastructure has been damaged and in some cases entirely destroyed. Electricity has not been restored in parts of the island and mobile phone signals are malfunctioned.

Thousands of people have been displaced and require humanitarian assistance. Some people have been forced to sleep in unsafe, open air locations as buildings available for evacuation are limited. Among these people are vulnerable groups like single women, mothers with babies, children, and the elderly. Hundreds of people have been seen wandering along roads asking others for help.

The destruction of homes and infrastructure has affected local sanitation, people are forced to defecate in areas where no latrines are available. As well side effects of this catastrophe are diseases. Reports of diarrhoea have been received.

Search and rescue operations are still being conducted by the military and police. Searches have been intensified as people have been found under the rubble of large buildings. Some reports are indicating that many areas requiring aid and assistance have not yet been reached.

Islamic Relief teams have been on the ground since day one and providing immediate, life-saving support to affected communities. Tarpaulins, mineral water and blankets were distributed in North Lombok. We are aiming to support 6,000 people within this month and possibly reaching 18,000 households during the early recovery/rehabilitation stage in next six months.

Specific interventions will be provided to reach vulnerable people such as the elderly, pregnant women, lactating mothers and babies, children under two years, disabled people, and families with women headed households. We plan to assist in the rehabilitation of local community’s livelihoods through cash transfer, cash for work programmes, and revival of existing livelihood resources. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) intervention is needed to avoid the outbreak of epidemics.