Print Version    Email to Friend
Deadly quake shakes Indonesian island

JAKARTA (SE): Catholic groups have started to collect aid for thousands of people affected by the deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the popular tourist island of Lombok in Indonesia on July 29.
The tremor killed at least 16 people, left 355 injured and forced more than 5,100 to flee their homes, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, UCAN reported.
The quake also triggered landslides, cutting off hiking trails.
CNN reported on July 31 that more than 600 hikers, who were stranded on the 3,726 metre high Mount Rinjani, had been rescued.
As at July 30, 276 aftershocks had hit the island and other areas in West Nusa Tenggara province.
At least 1,400 homes, seven schools, five health facilities, and 22 places of worship were badly damaged.
West Nusa Tenggara governor, Muhammad Zainul Majdi, declared a five-day state of emergency.
Joko Widodo, announced on July 30 that each damaged property would receive 50 million rupiah ($27,176) in aid to help them rebuild, according to state news agency Antara.
Meanwhile, Father Laurensius Maryono from St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Mataram, the provincial capital, said, “Catholics have started to collect aid. Catholic schools have collected tents and my parishioners have collected rice and instant noodles.” 
“St. Anthony Catholic Hospital has sent teams of medical workers to serve those affected by the quake in Sembalun sub-district, the worst-hit area,” he said.
UCAN reported him as saying that his parish’s emergency response team—along with teams from the Diocese of Denpasar and the Mataram chapter of the Union of Catholic University Students of the Republic of Indonesia—went to the district on July 31. 
“We had to assess the current situation and what aid the victims really need. We’re focusing on (the) things government and other organisations tend to overlook,” he said.
Father Evensius Dewantoro, who heads the diocese’s Socio-Economic Development Commission, said the teams would stay there for three days.
“Then we will submit recommendations to the bishop and Caritas Indonesia,” he said.
Adrianus Umbu Zogara, head of the student group, said students had collected 100 kilogrammes of rice and two boxes of instant noodles.
“We’ve also received financial aid. We will use the money to buy necessities victims most need, such as blankets,” he said
Meanwhile, disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 150 tents, 100 power generators, 5,000 mattresses, as well as clothing and food items had been distributed to victims. 

More from this section