Lombok Earthquake

During the summer of 2018 the Indonesian island of Lombok was stricken by a series of powerful earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks. With more than 560 deaths, the earthquake was the largest and the strongest earthquake to have hit Lombok in recorded history. International volunteers and local residents turned to online crowdfunding to raise money for essential food supplies and building materials. Travelling with both international and domestic volunteers we visited remote communities in northern Lombok.

Partnering with local NGO Indonesia Pangkit we collected aerial imagery and first hand testimonies from the affected communities. This allowed us to better communicate the situation to our online supporters whose donations were being used to directly purchase urgent supplies. We were also able to better assess the structural damage and understand the essential needs of communities such as drinking water or the construction of emergency shelters.

I was primarily in Lombok to ensure the safe and optimal distribution of aid money and supplies. However, the visual documentation of structural damage and the aid operation also served a role in the continuation and growth of online donations to the crowdfunding campaign. We were also able to communicate visually to people on the ground the situation in other villages to enhance understanding, they were then able to better assisted us in the distribution of volunteers and aid.

Tembobor village had been completely destroyed by the earthquake. We met with locals who were clearing the rubble, we learned most people have been evacuated to a refugee camp, we later visited that camp and supplied boxes of drinking water.

A local super market in Tembobor village, Lombok Utara. With no shops from which to purchase supplies local people were reliant on aid donations.

Most of the buildings in Tembobor village were downed. Only a few structures remain serviceable, there is no water as the pipes have been destroyed.

A women and child from a remote community in the foothills of Mount Rinjani. We travelled with a doctor and met with local people making an assessment of their medical and aid requirements.

A photograph of a child found in the rubble of a family home in Tembobor village. I found the owner of the property and retuned him the photograph.

The school at Dangiang village collapsed, lucky the children were not in the building during the earthquake. They now take their lessons in tented classrooms setup within the school’s grounds.

Online donations are used to purchase essential food supplies at Mataram’s central market. The donated money is given to local suppliers which helps to support the local economy.

International volunteers distribute medicine and food supplies bought locally with financial donations from Malaysia.

Bottled water, rice, crackers and vegetables are loaded on to the back of a truck for distribution in the villages of Lombok Utara.

A small village in the foothills of Mount Rinjani. The village has no running water, children and the elderly are starting to get sick.

The doctor we travel with makes an assessment of the villager’s health. A number of people are falling ill, we are carrying limited medical supplies.

The doctor concludes his assessment, he will return to the village in the next week to set up an emergency clinic and distribute more medicines.