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Third powerful quake hits Indonesia's Lombok, kills 10

Caritas Indonesia assisting quake victims with their daily needs and ways to uplift their morale

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Third powerful quake hits Indonesia's Lombok, kills 10

A house located in Glansar village of West Lombok district that was damaged by a powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia’s Lombok Island on Aug. 5. (Photo supplied by Caritas Indonesia/Karina)

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At least 10 people were killed by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Aug. 19, less than a month after two earlier quakes killed hundreds.

The earthquake, which also hit nearby Sumbawa island, left a further 24 people injured and damaged more than 150 homes and buildings, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Search and rescue teams are continuing evacuation procedures, said the agency, adding that 101 aftershocks followed the quake.

Titik Sulistyowati, a 44-year-old mother of one who lives in the West Nusa Tenggara province capital of Mataram, told ucanews.com that the quake was so strong they "didn't know what to do but to pray and to hold one another."

"We are still deeply traumatized. My son doesn't want to sleep alone. His hand always holds my hand while he is sleeping," she said.

Sulistyowati said she and her family have lived in a tent set up at her parents' house since a 7-magnitude quake hit the region on Aug. 5. That quake killed at least 460 people, displacing almost 418,000 and leaving about 7,770 people injured.

The first quake occurred on July 29, killing about 20 people.

"We do all our daily activities outside the house. We are afraid of getting inside because it is old and the quakes have caused cracks in the wall," said Sulistyowati, who hopes the local government will provide children with trauma-healing programs in the near future.

Rosalia Riswaty, a 63-year-old mother of two from Sumbawa town, said after the recent quake she and her family decided to stay under a tent erected in the compound of her neighbor's house.

"Seven of us are staying under the tent. I don't know when we will return to our home. We need to stay alert," Riswaty told ucanews.com. "We are still traumatized, especially my children," she said.

Meanwhile, Aryo Saptoaji, an emergency response member with Caritas Indonesia — locally known as Karina — said it will continue to distribute aid to those in need.

"We have logistics that are working and supplies of tarpaulins, blankets, clothes and rice continue to come," Saptoaji said, adding that the group distributed aid to two affected villages on Aug. 20.

"We are focusing on early recovery. We have two plans — meeting daily needs of quake victims and finding a strategy to uplift their dignity." 

Karina had so far distributed aid to 784 families in 40 areas in Mataram town and in North Lombok and West Lombok districts.

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