Tragedy in paradise- Gili T quake

On the 5th August 2018 a magnitude  7.0 earthquake hit Lombok, killing over 400 people and injuring tens of thousands. A group of 8 of us (the Meyer family, Nenne and Crille from Sweden and Byron and Annika from Australia) were on the nearby Gili islands, which was only 15 kilometers away from the epicentre. The quake destroyed 40% of the buildings on the island and killed 8 people, one of them the son of one of the helpers at the villa (who was only 11 years old). Badly shaken and traumatised by the event and subsequent mad dash up the only hill on the island because of a tsunami warning, our group was safe and managed to be evacuated to Bali a few days after the quake.

We were deeply moved by the kindness and care shown to us by some of the locals, who stayed to help us despite the fact that their families were dealing with the disaster on Lombok without them. Specifically, Yogi, Ara and Maria at the villa went out of their way to look after us. Yogi, the man on the photo, has 4 children and really took to Finn and Tate. He stayed with us right to the end, refusing to leave until we got onto the boat safely. He had lost his house back on Lombok and still stayed to make sure we were OK.

We are safely back at home and our lives continue, but those that we've left behind have nothing. We are raising money for them, as their homes and, as their work relates to the tourism industry (which has been decimated by the earthquake), their livelihoods have both been destroyed. We have phone numbers and email addresses for each of these lovely people and so any money you donate will go directly to them, to help them recover and get their somewhat lives back on track. 

For more information about the earthquake and it's impact on the Gili island where we were staying, click this link. 

 As a family we have been struggling to come to terms with what happened, and talk and think about it all the time. The scars from this will heal but we feel forever indebted to Yogi, Ara and Maria for their help. 

Below are a few pictures and some video which might help to show what happened.

This was a few minutes before the earthquake... we were in paradise! 

Waking up the morning after the earthquake in the garden (after having a night under the stars because our villa was unsafe), the staff came around, apologised profusely for the inconvenience  and made us banana pancakes! They were so worried about our wellbeing that they chose to help us, over going to help their own families. 

This is some of the madness at the harbour on Gili Trawangan- it was chaos! It took us 2 days to leave the island because we didn't want to expose Finn and Tate to this, as it would have been difficult for them to deal with (on top of everything else).  

On the morning of the 7th (2 nights after the earthquake) we made it down to the harbour. This is Yogi seeing us off. We were all moved to tears by his kindness and selflessness and feel forever indebted to him. At this stage he'd still not been over to Lombok to his family, but had stayed with us the whole time. 

It was calm and beautiful on the morning we left, and we were treated to a beautiful sunrise...

And finally we were back in Bali- safely landing in Amed. 

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Pierre Meyer 
London, Greater London, United Kingdom