The idyllic tourist destination of Lombok, Indonesia has been disrupted with the recent earthquake that measured a 6.9 in magnitude on 5 August. Four days later and the effects of the quake is still being felt as the death toll continues to rise and the damage to the island is yet unascertainable.
The number of deaths went from 130 on Wednesday to 164 at press time. “At least 1,400 people seriously injured and 156,000 displaced,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho to AFP.
The ravaged island is in utter chaos with many bloodied and bandaged victims in makeshift hospitals. Shelters are also running out of food and some do not have clean water, resorting to using nearby lake waters for the bathroom and baths.
Many frightened villagers are staying under tents or tarpaulins dotted along roads or in parched rice fields, away from big buildings reports several news agencies.
“We are still waiting for assessments from some of the more remote areas in the north of the island, but it is already clear that Sunday’s earthquake was exceptionally destructive,” Christopher Rassi, the head of a Red Cross assessment team on Lombok, said in a statement.
He estimated that 75% of houses have been damaged in some villages east and north of Lombok.
Local authorities, international relief groups and central governments have begun organising aid, but shattered roads and broken bridges are slowing down efforts to reach survivors in the mountainous north of Lombok, which bore the brunt of the quake.
“There are still some evacuees that have not yet been touched by aid, especially in North Lombok and West Lombok,” Nugroho tweeted today.
Meanwhile, some 2,000 tourists have been evacuated on the nearby island Gili Trawangan to the port of Bangsal on Northern Lombok two days after the quake struck.
Additional rescue teams have been deployed today to rescue and locate people buried under rubble and the death toll is expected to rise even higher.
As an island that is precariously located in the notorious Pacific Ring of Fire, the most active seismic region, as well as the second most active region called the Alpide Belt, the inhabitants of Indonesia have experienced some of the most catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in human history.