Plan International's disaster response team is on the ground to respond to urgent needs of children and affected communities.
At 6.46pm Sunday 5 August local time, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Lombok, with the epicentre located 18 kilometres south-west of East Lombok island.
A tsunami alert was issued but lifted shortly after. A number of aftershocks between 5-5.6 magnitude have continued to rock the island and have been felt in Bali, Jember and Sidoarjo in East Java. The death toll is so far estimated to be over 90.
The Plan International response team on the ground were caught up in the earthquake and have been subsequently evacuated to a safer area. Plan International Indonesia continues to coordinate with the national and local authorities to prepare a wider response.
Plan International assisting evacuation efforts
Plan International Indonesia spokeswoman Dini Widiastuti said the staff immediately sprang into action to assist with the evacuation to higher ground.
people in Lombok really need shelters at the moment, especially tarps and blankets. This is absolutely critical because people have been sleeping in open fields for many days now.
“Last night, just after the earthquake, communities in North Lombok were evacuated to higher ground because of the tsunami potential. From the footage our staff shot, you can see the panic. Even this morning there were still aftershocks,” Ms Widiastuti said.
“Even in the capital, which is one and a half hours drive away, people are very worried about damage to the buildings. Since the earthquake last week there have been hundreds of aftershocks, 44 of which could be felt.
“Our assessment is that people in Lombok really need shelters at the moment, especially tarps and blankets. This is absolutely critical because people have been sleeping in open fields for many days now. The children have nothing to do because the schools are closed. They have been living in exposed conditions for days and there have been reports of increased respiratory illnesses as a result.”
Supporting affected children and families
Ms Widiastuti said Plan International has 500 emergency shelter kits ready to distribute by air, given the poor road conditions in Lombok. The response will include counselling for children to ensure they are supported. Water, hygiene and sanitation is another area being considered, to prevent disease outbreaks from damage to infrastructure and water sources.
This is the second powerful earthquake to strike Lombok in a week. Plan International Indonesia deployed a rapid needs assessment team in response to the first quake, which struck on 31 July. It killed 17 people, destroyed or damaged 4500 houses and 31 schools, affecting around 50,000 Lombok residents.
Plan International in Indonesia has a focus on the wellbeing of children and parents and has responded quickly and effectively to support children and communities affected by emergencies in recent emergencies in the country, including the Mt Sinabung and Mt Raung volcano eruptions, and the Aceh earthquake.