Indonesia: Agencies rush aid to earthquake zone


Thousands of people have been affected by the earthquake which shook the tourist island of Lombok on 5 August. More than 105 people were killed, many have been injured. Many more have lost their homes.

Sister Paulina of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit told Fides that Catholic hospitals across the country have sent medical staff, including doctors and nurses to the affected area. Caritas Indonesia, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and other international humanitarian agencies are also contributing humanitarian aid.

Fr Laurencius Maryono, parish priest of St Mary Immaculate in Mataram, the capital of western Nusa Tenggara province, said: "There is a need for humanitarian aid for the thousands of people affected by the recent earthquake on the tourist island of Lombok... People are suffering a lot, they need clothes, food, water, medicine... to survive."

"The displaced people sleep on the streets and are gripped by great anguish and sadness", Fr Laurencius said.

In the minds of the population there is still the memory of the devastating tsunami of 2004 which caused the death of 168,000 people in Indonesia. This latest earthquake has destroyed homes and lives in this vast archipelago, causing the displacement of more than 84,000 people, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Agency for Disaster Management.

"The challenge for relief work is enormous," Fr Laurencius said.


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