21 villages in Lombok remain isolated after 7.0 earthquake, clean water and electricity access big challenges

Photo via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB

Getting aid to 21 villages that remain isolated, in desperate need of relief after a 7.0 earthquake rocked Lombok on Sunday is a challenging task, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

The 21 remote villages are scattered across East Lombok and West Lombok, but are mostly in North Lombok which was hit the hardest by the earthquake that has racked up a death count of at least 105, wounded hundreds, and forced thousands to evacuate.

The death toll has been slowly inching up as rescuers find more and more victims under debris.

People in these isolated villages need a mix of food, water, clothing, blankets, tarps, generators, tents, medicine and medical treatment, and logistical help, says BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“We are still trying to deliver aid to all residents,” said Nugroho.

PDAM, the regional water supply company, has cut off the flow of water in some areas because most of the pipelines were destroyed in the earthquake, leaving villagers with a developing water crisis, says Nugroho.

“The earthquake destroyed water facilities in North Lombok. The facilities cannot produce clean water anymore,” he added, as quoted by Metro TV.

In two villages in particular, Belanting and Darakunci in Eastern Lombok, flu and fever have been spreading amongst evacuees, said Nugroho, adding that they are also suffering from post traumatic stress order, which we’re sure extends to evacuees beyond just these two villages.

Meanwhile, electricity in Lombok has not been fully restored since the quake.

The 2G, 3G, and 4G telecommunications networks have slowly been getting back online but are not 100 percent up yet since some critical areas on the island are still without power.

There has been a decline in quality of data and voice services, especially around the epicenter area, says Indonesian provider Telkomsel.

“The majority of East Lombok, North Lombok, Sumbawa, and Bima is because there is a lack of optimal electricity supply in these areas,” Telkomsel External Corporate Communications GM Denny Abidin told Kumparan.

The government has declared a state of emergency to last a period of three weeks to help handle the disaster management.

BNPB has been working with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), while a number of NGOs and dedicated community members have been raising funds and collecting supplies to assist those impacted.

Sunday’s earthquake follows a 6.4 quake that left 17 dead on July 29, leaving some communities in the island’s north and east little to no time to recover from the first earthquake.

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