The Indonesian island of Lombok was struck by two large earthquakes yesterday, including a magnitude 6.9 tremor in the island’s north east late last night, hampering relief efforts and causing additional distress for those already reeling from the August 5 quake that killed more than 450 people.
Save the Children’s Program Implementation Director Tom Howells said from Jakarta:
“Our staff on the ground reported that the second tremor was longer and stronger than the others from recent weeks. They saw people running in panic from buildings. Our staff in the area slept outside for safety.
“While the initial earthquake on August 5 caused most damage in the island’s North Lombok District, last night’s quake was close by but concentrated further east, meaning we could see significant damage in East Lombok in addition to further damage in North Lombok. We’re already hearing reports of collapsed buildings in East Lombok District.
"The quake struck after dark and through our local partner Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik (YSTC) we are working to understand the extent of any damage further, and see what help is needed. Children and families on Lombok have been through so much in recent weeks.
“More than 400,000 people have been forced from their homes and more than 32,000 buildings have been severely damaged in the past weeks. We are gravely concerned about the repeated distress caused to children by the multiple shocks. They will be increasingly scared and in need of support.
"Save the Children, YSTC, and the Indonesian Government are already scaling up the response to the recent earthquakes through providing child friendly spaces where children can play and recover in safety, supported by specialist teams trained in psychological first aid."
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918