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More lifesaving aid needed urgently as a third big quake hits Lombok

By Oxfam

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A third earthquake of 6-Richter magnitude which struck Lombok earlier today has severely escalated the need for life-saving aid and has slowed down rescue efforts.

Monday’s 6.9 magnitude tremor, the largest so far, reportedly killed over 350 and destroyed the homes of over 150,000 people. Many caught in the rubble of collapsed buildings and in mudslides are still awaiting rescue.

Before the latest quake, the Indonesian Agency for Disaster Mitigation said the death toll and damage could be higher with conditions making it extremely difficult to assess the devastation. Earlier reports suggested at least 600,000 had suffered from impact of the three big quakes and hundreds of tremors over the past two weeks.

With the latest quake adding to the tens of thousands already in temporary shelters and under open skies, there is an increasing need for water, food, shelter, medical supplies, and other essentials.

Local partners supported by Oxfam have been on the ground since the first big quake and are assisting 5,000 people with clean drinking water, food, and tarpaulin sheets, with plans to increase the delivery of aid.  To facilitate the operations of local humanitarian partners, an emergency relief information center has been set up.

“The people here are severely traumatized. They’ve lost families or don’t know where they are. In many areas, over 80% of buildings, roads, and other facilities are destroyed. It’s a struggle to find water, food, electricity and other essentials.

“We’re trying to get aid to them as fast as we can. We also want to help them deal with the trauma too, but it’s difficult, and progress is slow due to conditions on the ground.  We thank the government and local organisations for their tremendous efforts, but we need to do more” said Meili Nart, Oxfam Project Manager based in Lombok.

While all Oxfam partners and staff on Lombok are safe, many project sites have been hit hard by the quakes halting regular operations.  However, they continue to provide emergency aid to those affected.

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Note: Oxfam local partners include:  Gema Alam, Santai, LBH Apik NTB, KPI NTB ,  KONSEPSI, KOSLATA, PKBI NTB, Akapela, YLKMP  and Amanda.

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