Earthquakes continue to occur in Lombok, Indonesia, as local communities work to provide and maintain adequate food, water, shelter, and appropriate medical care. The initial and most destructive earthquakes occurred on July 29 and then on August 5. Current official figures indicate that these quakes have left almost 500 dead and more than 400,000 people displaced.
Since August 19, additional earthquakes and tremors have killed another 13 people and brought down already damaged buildings.
The destruction and damage to family houses, public buildings, infrastructure, and places of worship is immense and the clean-up and rebuilding will be exceedingly challenging and time consuming. This means that most of those more than 400,000 displaced people are going to be living in tents, under tarps, out in the open, or in potentially structurally unsound buildings for months to come.
This all means that there is going to be a protracted humanitarian crisis in Lombok as families struggle to maintain adequate shelter, food, clean water, and access to healthcare services. The most vulnerable among this affected community include 59,603 pregnant women, 72,582 infants, 213,724 toddlers, and 304,526 elderly, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Health.
Supporting pregnant women and new mothers with adequate nutrition, maternal care, safe and hygienic birthing facilities, and post-natal care will be essential in the next 6-12 months to ensure more lives are not lost as a result of this disaster.
Direct Relief is responding to the Lombok earthquakes with their long-term local partner the Bumi Sehat Foundation.
Direct Relief emergency response staff and Bumi’s founder, Robin Lim, have just completed a disaster assessment of the affected areas in Lombok and have reported that the situation is far worse than expected.
Robin and her Lombok team leader, Ibu Budi, are now in the process of establishing a maternal and child health field center and birthing clinic in Lombok that will be vital for ensuring the health and safety of displaced pregnant women and new mothers and their children.