Indonesia: Red Cross responds after deadly earthquake

More than 90 people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured in a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that took place in Lombok, Indonesia on the evening of 5 August. The disaster followed a 6.4 magnitude quake in same area on 29 July.

At least 91 people are reported to have been killed in the quake, which was also felt in the neighbouring provinces of Bali and Surabaya.

Volunteers and staff from Indonesian Red Cross – Palang Merah Indonesia – have been supporting the survivors and also helped to evacuate people from coastal areas following a tsunami alert that was later cancelled.

The earthquake caused widespread panic. Many people ran from their homes and have stayed by the roadsides overnight. Hundreds of people were treated for injuries, some of them in the open air to avoid the risk of further injury. The Red Cross has distributed blankets to survivors sleeping in the open air and is providing psychosocial support.

The immediate focus is search, rescue and meeting the basic needs of people affected by the earthquake, including medical care, water, food, blankets, mats and tents.

More than a hundred Red Cross volunteers are active at the scene of the disaster, with another 140 on their way to help. Four volunteers have been injured during the response and have been taken to hospital.

As the earthquake happened in the evening and cut power and communications in the area, a full picture of people’s needs is still emerging. Many schools will remain closed until they can be checked and declared safe. Some 132 aftershocks have been recorded in the area.