A string of earthquakes has laid waste to Lombok in the last few weeks. Beginning on the 29th July, a series of earthquakes and aftershocks, some up to a magnitude of 6.9 Mw, have destroyed this idyllic island as well as hundreds of lives. With over 500 dead, thousands more injured, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, these earthquakes have been one of the deadliest disasters to hit Lombok in recent history.
Indonesia, in South East Asia, is home to over 260 million people. This beautiful and diverse country spans more than 18,000 islands. It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also one of the deadliest places to live on the planet. This is due to the fact that Indonesia lies on the ‘Ring of Fire’, a horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific Ocean, where over 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur.
Unfortunately, this means Indonesia is no stranger to disaster. These recent earthquakes come only 14 years after the tragic 2004 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 14 countries, of which Indonesia was the hardest-hit.
Lombok, Indonesia has a population of 3.3 million people and is roughly the same size as its neighbouring island, Bali. The first earthquake struck the island on the 29th July 2018 at just before 7am in the morning. This was a foreshock, itself measuring a magnitude of 6.4 Mw, which preceded the much stronger, main earthquake and its deadly aftershocks.
The main earthquake struck the island of Lombok on the 5th August, a week after the foreshock. The 6.9 Mw earthquake was even felt in Bali and its other neighbouring island, Sumbawa. 80% of all buildings and structures in North Lombok were destroyed; power to the island was cut; more than 500 people lost their lives; a further 1,000 were injured and close to 420,000 people were forced to flee.
Two aftershocks followed, one on the 9th of August and another on the 18th. The first measured a magnitude of 5.9 Mw and the latter 6.4 Mw. These aftershocks killed 8 more people and hampered emergency workers and their rescue efforts, as well as doctors and medical staff who were still tending to the sick and injured. Then, on the 19th of August, yet another earthquake of a magnitude of 6.9 Mw struck Lombok. This earthquake was not another aftershock but instead classed as a ‘new earthquake’ which occurred because of a separate fault. It killed another dozen people and destroyed roughly 2,000 more homes.
Relief efforts are now underway on the Indonesian island. Not only do the sick and injured require medical assistance but support is also needed for the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost or been forced from their homes. Not to mention the families of those who have tragically lost their lives. The QLZH Foundation has made donations to two organisations who are on the ground, helping the victims of this devastating disaster.
Agung Siaga are working together with Oceans Care to provide support to local communities in Lombok. Agung Siaga (literally translated to ‘Agung Standby’) is a non-profit, volunteer organisation. It was founded in late 2017 with the aim of providing aid and support to those displaced by volcanic activity of the nearby Mount Agung in Bali. Now, they are doing the same for those affected by this recent string of deadly earthquakes in Lombok.
As grieving communities try to rebuild their lives, they are being supported by organisations like Agung Siaga. Volunteers and donors have enabled Agung Siaga to provide victims of the 2018 Lombok disaster with basic needs, such as water, food and shelter. Walter filters and tons of food have been donated, volunteers are cooking meals and others are helping to build temporary homes for displaced individuals.
Oceans Care’s primary mission is to clean the planet’s oceans and prevent plastic waste from polluting them. In response to the recent earthquakes in Lombok, they have teamed up with Agung Siaga. They are doing all they can to ensure relief efforts are sustainable and not harmful to the planet. They are helping to build shelters for victims out of local material, such as bamboo, instead of plastic tarps. They are also clearing up the tons of plastic waste before it ends up in the world’s oceans.
Although these two organisations are working tirelessly to support the victims of these earthquakes, there are still thousands and thousands of people who need to be helped and supported in Lombok. The QLZH foundation hopes that their donation, along with many others, will see this happen.
The QLZH Foundation was officially launched in 2018 but has been working towards its goals since 2013. A collaborative effort of the QuickLets and Zanzi Homes brands, the QLZH Foundation is a voluntary organisation committed to doing good. For every home Zanzi Homes sells in Malta the Foundation plants a tree. This campaign is called #Treedom. It his a foresight for their long term goal to build a house in Africa with every home they sell in Malta. Also the foundation currently has an ongoing program by which every property QuickLets rents, the Foundation supports the education of a child. They also plan to plant one million trees over the next ten years.
In addition, the QLZH Foundation wishes to provide support to those in need wherever and whenever they can. Most recently, this has seen members of the Foundation getting involved with other NGO;s such as these in Lombok. This wouldn’t be possible without the Foundation’s tireless volunteers or its generous donors.
If you wish to learn more about the QLZH Foundation or make a donation, you can visit their website: www.qlzhfoundation.com. Here, you can also subscribe to their mailing list and discover the different ways you can get involved. A fundraising event for the Foundation is being held at Verdala Palace on the 29th September. You can buy your tickets through: www.showshappening.com. All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the foundation.
Finally, you can see the efforts of the earthquake relief charities in Lombok by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Both Agung Siaga and Oceans Care have their own Instagram and Facebook accounts. Follow them to see and read all about how their efforts, with the help of generous donations, are helping the victims of these deadly quakes.