We are blessed to call Indonesia home, and in particular the island of Lombok, next to the famed tourist island of Bali. On Sunday July 29 at 6:47 a.m.,
a 6.4 earthquake shook the island of Lombok.
Where was the worst impacted?
What Sup? Lombok is based in Kuta, in the south of the island, and the town was woken with a horrifying, long, rolling quake, but fortunately no damages.
The same was not the case for the north of the island, with the epicentre being about 50 km north of the capital Mataram, and the towns and villages
around Sembalun hardest hit. Sembalun is a stunning area and the site of a lot of fresh produce farms, being especially popular for its scenic
patchwork vege fields and vast strawberry farms. It has a cooler climate, a lot more rain, and narrow winding roads through mountains past huge piles
of cabbages and drying chillis ready to be taken down to markets. People are mostly farmers and friendly, good folk. The other main source of
income is seasonal as guides for domestic and international climbers to the summit of the volcanic Mount Rinjani, which at 12,224 feet looms over the
villages. The reality though, is that this is a particularly poor area, with many on the poverty line. Healthcare is very limited, if at all, insurance
unheard of and poorly constructed houses due to cheap materials and no building regulations.
This meant that the impact of the earthquake was intense. As the earthquake hit early in the morning, most were still in or around their houses, and collapsing
buildings and flying bricks and wood seemed to be the main cause of injury. Internet and phone lines were down and many of the roads became impassable,
leading to uncertainty as to the extent of the damage. Now it is clear that thousands of homes are damaged, many completely wiped out while a
much larger number suffering lighter damages.
Sadly the impact meant a lot of the residents sustained injuries, with figures putting
it at above 150 people, and the death toll is mounting, and currently sitting at 17. As well as residents, roughly 500 hikers were trapped on the slopes
of Mt. Rinjani, as a number of tracks down the volcano were closed due to landslides. The Indonesian army is now in evacuation mode, with assistance
from heavy machinery and helicopters to clear the roads.
Amongst the first to respond was Endri from Endri's Foundation, and Lombok's
Forgotten Children Emergency Aid Organisation. These guys are incredible. They are a local Lombok owned and run foundation that enables extremely
poor families to get the necessary paperwork in order to get their sick, and often feared, family members into the healthcare system. They
then escort them to appropriate hospitals in Lombok or Bali, for life saving treatment, usually for advanced cases, including physically disfiguring
tumours, hydrocephalus and gangrene as well as hare/cleft lip surgeries for children. In times of disasters or emergency, they get what is needed in
as quickly as possible, mostly through donations.
Here in Kuta, the expat and local community quickly rallied together, including a fundraiser from our friends Etik and Scott from Palate Cafe, which raised
over Rp 13 million within 12 hours of the earthquake. Others took to the streets with donation boxes, including the some of the local kids who
gave of what they had earned selling bracelets to visitors.
How can you help?
We know we have many of you who have visited Lombok, or been surfing or paddling with us at What Sup? Lombok, and have experienced first hand what an exceptional
island this is. Others of you may be international visitors to our site or social media venues, and might be in a situation to help. Every little
bit helps here; a dollar or a pound really goes a long way; it could feed a victim for a day. If you feel you could, we would be most appreciative.
We recommend a number of safe, direct ways to contribute, with every cent going directly to the people impacted.
Those based in Kuta Lombok, you can drop donations of clothing, bedding, food or money direct to Palate Cafe, Harmony Villas, What Sup? Lombok,
Another fundraiser is coming up, via Senja Sunset Cruise, which on Sunday 5 August will be holding the first of its monthly themed parties, kicking off
with a Toga Party. If backpacking days were long ago, this means come dressed up in a towel, sheet or some kind of wrapping ala the Roman era.
Drinks are available at the bar, with all drink proceeds going to the earthquake victims. Bookings are essential via Kuta agents (What Sup? Lombok,
Milk, Palate Cafe, Novotel, Kura Kura Surf Camp, Playground, Tasty Hesty's Cafe, Neighbourhood, Same Same Bungalows amongst others) or direct via What
Sup? Lombok website or Senja Sunset Cruise fb and instagram. Tickets cost Rp. 125,000 and there is a door prize for best dressed. So grab your
friends, your sheet and come and drink to support those in need.
Those based in Indonesia or overseas, monetary donations are highly useful, ensuring the right supplies are bought and delivered as soon as possible.
While there are many organisations involved such as the Indonesian Red Cross as well as other international charities, we strongly recommend via Endri's
Foundation, as we know first hand that every cent donated goes exactly where it needs to go. This charity is one of the most honest, and giving we
have ever seen and constantly floors us with their genuine compassion and heart for those that are struggling the most in Indonesia. They have set
up a few options to make donating easy and safe.
+ via bank account, direct bank transfer, or the cheaper and faster web based Transferwise:
Bank: Bank Central Asia
Name : Endri Susanto
Account : 0561 2671 02
No telp : +62370632588
Branch office: Jalan Pejanggik no 67 Mataram, Mataram Sub District
West Nusa Tenggara 83122 Indonesia
Central Office: Jln. MH Thamrin, No 1 Grand Indonesia Menara 10310 Indonesia
Swift Code : CENAIDJA OR
Bank: Bank Mandiri, Name: Endri Foundation (EF), Account: 1610002554272
+ via crowdfunding site: http:/www.gofundme.com/earthquake-lombok-forgottenchildren
For your help, in whatever form, we thank you. Terima kasih banyak.