On Sunday, July 29, the island of Lombok in Indonesia was violently struck by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, leaving nearly 100 people dead and hundreds more injured.

The disaster was followed by hundreds of aftershocks. Thousands of homes have been either damaged or completely flattened, leaving families with nothing.

But the disaster did not stop there. Less than a week after the initial quake, an even more devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the island and on August 19, two more earthquakes measuring 6.9 and 6.3 magnitude hit.

This devastating quake has killed 460 people so far. At least 400,000 men, women and children have been left homeless and urgently need shelter.

Our volunteer Response Team in Indonesia is working with local government and Rotary contacts to make arrangements to get aid to families in need as soon as possible.

ASSESSING THE SITUATION


We have a team of highly-trained volunteers to assess the situation on the ground in Indonesia and we will be delivering aid to families in Lombok who have lost everything in the recent earthquakes.

The team, consisting of two Response Team Volunteers, including US SRT and Rotarian Brian Glenn, are working with local Rotary contacts and liaising with local authorities to understand whether and how we can help families severely affected by the disaster.  Rotary International teams will be helping our volunteer ShelterBox Response Team to deliver aid into the hands of the families who need it most.

Meanwhile we will continue to monitor the situation, including the aftershocks and their impact.

WHERE IS LOMBOK?


The island of Lombok is located in West Nusa Tenggara province, in Indonesia. It’s situated to the east of Bali on the other side of the Lombok Strait. The capital, and largest city on the island, is Mataram.

Lombok is a popular tourist destination, with thousands of people from around the world flocking to the island every year. Lombok’s main tourist attractions are its beaches and hiking trails.

The earthquakes affected the three districts of North Lombok, East Lombok and West Lombok. At least 20,000 men, women and children have been left homeless and are now in urgently need of shelter.

EARTHQUAKES 101


WHAT IS AN EARTHQUAKE?

An earthquake happens when pieces of the earth’s surface rub together, causing the ground to shake.

WHY DO EARTHQUAKES HAPPEN?

Although the ground we walk on may seem solid, it is actually made of huge pieces of flat rock which together, create a kind of patchwork.

These flat pieces of rock are called plates and are constantly moving, although this usually happens so slowly we don’t even notice.

Sometimes these plates get stuck and pressure builds up until one of the plates is forced to give way – this can cause the ground across a wide area to vibrate violently.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS?

The size of an earthquake is usually measured by a system called the ‘Richter Scale’. Earthquakes that measure below 4 on this scale are unlikely to cause any damage and those below 2 will usually not even be felt.

However, earthquakes above 5 on the Richter Scale will cause damage and those above 7 are considered major earthquakes. These larger earthquakes can result in buildings being destroyed or so badly damaged they are too dangerous to live in.

WHAT ARE AFTERSHOCKS?

Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence.

They are smaller than the initial, main earthquakes and within 1-2 rupture lengths distance from the mainshock.

Aftershocks can continue over a period of weeks, months, or even years. In general, the larger the mainshock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.