On the 5th of August 2018 at 7:46 pm local time, the island of Lombok experienced a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The impact of this was felt strongest in the area of Pemenang (as shown on the map below) near to where we were staying.
We were staying on the mainland in the Hotel Tugu, which is located on the beachfront near the Gili Islands. After the earthquake, the immediate thought of the hotel residents, staff, and surrounding villagers was to seek higher ground for fear of a tsunami. With assistance from the hotel staff, we ended up spending the night on a gravelly hillside next to a devastated village, alongside approximately 3,000 villagers from surrounding communities, who were also seeking refuge from the aftershocks.
The villagers showed us immense kindness and concern, sharing their limited water and food supplies, despite them being in a desperate situation themselves, sitting in a field with just the clothes they fled in. Their main concerns were for the safety of their families and ourselves, which was truly humbling.
The arrival of dawn showed the full extent of the damage to housing and infrastructure, as well as injuries and loss of life. The images and video attached convey this.
We understand some emergency relief is now being provided, but the scale of the disaster means that this is likely to be insufficient.
In the short term, they will need food, water, shelter, medical supplies, and clothing, amongst other things. In the long run, they will need building supplies and other means to support the rebuilding of their lives, as these people have lost everything (sadly in some cases, family and friends).
We feel very fortunate that we were in a position to evacuate the island and return to the safety of our homes. The residents of Lombok do not have this option.
We want to express our gratitude to all of the people who helped us during this terrible experience. To this end we would like to raise some funds (however modest) to help ease the difficulties in the short term. We are in contact with the Hotel Tugu staff and local travel agency representatives to ensure the money is directed in an appropriate manner.
We may also channel some of the money to the Indonesian Red Cross as we are aware of their presence in the area.
This map was taken from an Evening Standard article and was originally sourced from the U.S. Geological Survey.
These photos have been taken by a Hotel Tugu staff member who is helping with the relief efforts.
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