On July 29th and August 5th and 9th, Lombok was hit by earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks the days following. It was a natural disaster on a scale usually reserved for Japan or Mexico; not a small tropical island ticking along in the middle of its annual high season.
According to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), a total of 167,000 houses were damaged and 445,343 people were forced to flee their earthquake damaged homes.
Media reports were filled with dramatic headlines, as tourists were evacuated from the Gili Islands to ensure their safety, and newspapers were filled with photos of broken and collapsed buildings. Anyone would think that the whole island was destroyed.
Yet, it must be stressed that the majority of damage was confined to the north and north-east of the island – an area situated on Rinjani mountain range and filled with remote villages.
The area affected equates to around 20% of the island, and fortunately we still have 80% of this beautiful island to explore!
Lombok and Gili Islands have recovered very fast. In the weeks following the disaster, the community bonded together to provide aid to the worst affected areas. Local and expatriate residents, businesses on the island, NGO’s and charity organisations provided emergency aid until government relief could reach the remote villages.
The ‘state of emergency’ status for the area was lifted on 25th August and the recovery effort is now well underway. Actually, your support to help the people of North Lombok to help themselves is greatly appreciated.
You can find many foundation’s and charity organisations to help participate – don’t hesitate! Every dollar will help to get families out of camps and into homes.