Lombok Earthquake Update
By the Underwater Tribe
We would like to update all of our friends out there with a brief summary about the earthquake situation in Bali and Lombok. By now, everyone is sure to have read about the news that the Lombok area suffered a 7.0 sized earthquake on the 5th of August.
Thankfully on Bali there was not a lot of damage, in Sanur we are located approximately 130KM from the epicenter of the earthquake. There was some cosmetic damage to some buildings and some debris falling, but mostly Bali was not overly affected. It was an especially nerve rattling experience for people who have never experienced a large earthquake before.
Situation in Lombok
However, the damage on the neighboring island of Lombok has been quite severe. This is the second 6+ earthquake that Lombok has suffered through in the past 10 days and so people were already on edge. This second earthquake was much stronger and the effects on the people and property more widespread. The northern reaches of Lombok, including the Gili Islands, were hit the hardest and many buildings have been severely damaged. Many areas are without electricity and therefore it has been difficult to get information from those areas. The latest count is 92 people have died as a result of this earthquake. There was a brief tsunami warning but this was rescinded not long after being announced. The Indonesian authorities have acted swiftly to bring aid to the region.
On the Gili Islands, there has been an evacuation of tourists and other non essential workers. Many of the people who live on the islands are staying there to help clean up the mess that the earthquake has created. Of course without electricity and water this will not be an easy or quick fix. All over the island of Lombok, many areas do not have power and the roads are damaged, this will mean the recovery may take some time.
How you can support
There are several organizations which are collecting funds and donations to help the people of Lombok in their time of need. If you would like to donate money or goods to the cause then please visit one of the following links. We are not associated with any of these companies and can’t vouch for them, but these are actual on the ground, local organizations which do good work.
Our friends from Freedive Flow in Gili Air have setup an emergency kitchen and a outdoor sleeping area , they now are able to receive funds via paypal with this address : firstname.lastname@example.org . You can follow live updates about the situation on Gili Air following Oli Christen (owner @ Freedive Flow ) profile on Facebook.
What Does This Mean for Bali?
Business is as usual in Bali. There was a shake and some limited damage, but that is not unusual in many areas of the world prone to earthquakes. There is no effect on Mount Agung from this earthquake, so that is nothing to worry about, earthquakes are a perfectly normal phenomenon.
Should I Still Go On My Trip To The Gilis?
At this time we would suggest that this is not a good option. There are reports on social media of many dive centers and resorts closing down for the immediate time being (1 or 2 weeks) in order to make repairs and help out the families of their staff. Again, information is scarce at the moment about this but we hope to know more about it in the coming week. Keep an eye out on the social media accounts of the many Gili based dive operators to find out more information.
Our thoughts are with the people of Lombok at this time, many of whom have suffered loss of family and property.