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Rescue work continues following earthquake in Indonesia


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance offers help where needed

By Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service

Indonesian president Joko Widodo (second from left) examining the damage following this week’s Lombok earthquake. Indonesian Government Photo

LOUISVILLE – More than 100 people are dead and hundreds more are injured or missing following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia. The quake struck Sunday night on the popular resort island of Lombok. Two days later, rescuers are still pulling survivors from the rubble.

Authorities say thousands of homes were destroyed, including a local mosque where people had gathered for evening prayers. The roof of the mosque collapsed on the crowd, burying as many as 30 inside.

Power outages and damaged roads have hampered recovery efforts and the government has declared a state of emergency in Lombok until Aug. 11. Authorities say as many as 20,000 people are in temporary shelters while thousands more are camping in the open. Water, food, medical supplies and clothing are running low in the impacted areas.

“For a time, there was fear that the earthquake had the potential to create a tsunami. However, that warning was later cancelled,” said Luke Asikoye, associate for international disaster response with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). “The people of Indonesia are more prepared for these types of disasters.”

Asikoye says the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance is working with authorities in Lombok to provide emergency service support.

“We are in solidarity with Indonesia. This is a country where PDA has heavily invested in disaster risk reduction,” said Asikoye. “We will respond together by reinforcing what the churches are doing. ACT and other agencies have very competent people on the ground responding now. We will support them with resources and be on standby if there are other needs.”

Authorities are now concerned about aftershocks. Since the quake on Sunday, more than 230 aftershocks have been reported and are expected to continue for at least two weeks.

Lombok was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on July 29 that killed 17 people.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is able to respond to emergencies because of gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. To support PDA’s response to the earthquake, designate gifts to DR000146 – Indonesia. Give online by clicking here.

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