Australian Red Cross has launched an appeal to help provide urgently needed aid to people and communities affected by the recent series of devastating earthquakes on the island of Lombok, Indonesia.
The death toll continues to rise. Indonesian officials estimate that more than 300 people have died from the powerful earthquakes with many more injured. At least 270,000 people have fled their damaged or destroyed homes. Tens of thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed, and tourists stranded.
Red Cross Director, International, Peter Walton said the disaster has been devastating, with most of the displaced people sleeping under tents or tarpaulins near their ruined homes or in evacuation shelters.
“This is a terrible tragedy with so many families who have lost loved ones. We’re seeing that people are traumatised and short of food, clean water and medical help. Violent aftershocks are triggering panic,” Mr Walton said.
Indonesian Red Cross staff and volunteers, supported by international Red Cross efforts aim to provide aid to approximately 80,000 people in in three of the worst affected areas across North, East and West Lombok.
“We’re rushing emergency supplies, including tarpaulins, blankets and clean water to villages that have been completely flattened. Indonesian Red Cross teams will be distributing shelter toolkits for repairing damaged houses as well as advising on how to rebuild more safely,” Mr Walton said.
“Around 250 Indonesia Red Cross staff and volunteers have been responding around the clock racing to the worst-affected areas with food, water and other aid.
“So many people are living in fear with daily tremors and ongoing earthquakes on the island of Lombok. Red Cross volunteers are helping survivors cope with threats from the potential collapse of damaged houses.
“Indonesian Red Cross has mobilized seven ambulances with medical crews and volunteers are providing emergency first aid in North, East and West Lombok. Red Cross teams are also providing first aid, helping to transport injured survivors to hospitals for further treatment.
“There’s a critical focus on delivering personal support to prevent panic and reduce the emotional trauma, including the loss of loved ones caused by the quakes.”
Australian Red Cross stands ready to provide further urgent support to Indonesian Red Cross with aid workers and technical assistance as needed.
“We’re asking all Australians to dig deep and donate to support our neighbours in Lombok who face a very tough future in the weeks and months ahead. Please donate today at redcross.org.au/Lombok,” Mr Walton said. All donations are tax-deductible.