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Lombok earthquake response

Plan International team onsite to respond to Lombok quake

Footage from immediately after the earthquake, shot by Plan International staff, is available here. Media are welcome to use footage with attribution to Plan International.

Plan International staff are preparing to scale up their response to support children affected by the earthquake that has already killed at least 91 people on Lombok, Indonesia.

At 6.46pm Sunday 5 August local time, a magnitude 7.0 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. 

Plan International will be distributing emergency shelters to help keep children and their families safe as they recover from the quake.

Plan International Indonesia spokeswoman Dini Widiastuti said the staff immediately sprang into action to assist with the evacuation to higher ground.

“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 are 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 there have been reports of increased respiratory illnesses as a result.”

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 protected.  

Water, hygiene and sanitation is another area being considered, to prevent disease outbreaks from damage to infrastructure and water sources.

“We are preparing school kits to distribute to children whose education has been disrupted, but our number one priority at the moment is to ensure we are providing shelter to children and their families,” she said.

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.