An earthquake hit the island of Lombok on Sunday, 17 March 2019, devastating the regency of North Lombok and the surrounding areas. Here’s what you need to know:
The first quake, with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale, took place at 3.07pm Central Indonesia Time (3.07pm Malaysian time) with the epicentre 24 kilometres northeast of East Lombok regency in the province of West Nusa Tenggara. According to the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), it was followed by another quake of 5.2 on the Richter scale with the epicentre 7 km northwest of East Lombok at 3.09pm Central Indonesian Time.
The Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho reported that people felt tremors from the first earthquake that lasted between two and five seconds, sending them scrambling out of buildings.
Were there any casualties?
To date, it is reported that the quake killed a total of three people and injured more than 180. While the earthquake did not cause a tsunami, it triggered a landslide at the district of Bayan in the regency of North Lombok, which killed at least two and injured more than 40 tourists who were at Tiu Kelep Waterfall, a popular tourist attraction that lies at the foot of Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia. The earthquake also destroyed hundreds of buildings around the island.
Were there any Malaysians among the victims?
Two Malaysians were killed while seven others were injured. Malaysian Embassy officials in Indonesia are coordinating with local authorities to assist Malaysians affected by the earthquake. All victims from Malaysia were given the same lodging in the Senggigi area of West Lombok, while the victims’ families were provided with lodging in Mataram, the provincial capital of West Nusa Tenggara.
The remains of Datin Tai Siew Kim and Lim Sai Wah, the two Malaysian women who were killed in the disaster, were flown back to Malaysia on Tuesday (19 March 2019). According to ANTARA, Indonesia’s news agency, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism arranged for the remains to be transported from Lombok to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, where they were brought back to Malaysia on Garuda Indonesia flight GA816, which arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 5.10pm. Datin Tai was the deputy executive editor-in-chief of Sin Chew Daily, a Chinese-language newspaper in Malaysia.
Seventeen other Malaysians who were affected by the quake returned on the same day from Lombok on AirAsia flight AK309 at 3.15pm. Four injured Malaysians are still being treated at the Regional General Hospital (RSUD) of Mataram.
What should I do if I’m affected by this disaster?
According to deputy head of mission of the Malaysian embassy in Indonesia, Zamshari Shaharan, affected Malaysians in Lombok or the surrounding areas can reach the embassy at +62 813 8081 3036.
What can I do to help those affected by this quake?
Here’s a list of organisations through which you can donate:
A member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Indonesian Red Cross is open to donations in the form of cash, supplies and voluntary services.
ACT is a humanitarian organisation which focuses on natural and humanitarian disaster management. Their programmes include the rebuilding of homes around Lombok.
UK-based international charity organisation Oxfam is working with KONSEPSI, a local NGO, as well as the district’s disaster management agency.
We at travel360.com offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wishes Lombok a speedy recovery.