Indonesia: Psychological impact on earthquake survivors turns villages into ‘ghost towns’

Indonesian Red Cross
An injured victim of the 5 August 2018 North Lombok earthquake in Indonesia is evacuated by members of the Red Cross.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Following the magnitude 7 earthquake which rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok at the weekend, more than 130 aftershocks have been felt with some villages being turned into “ghost towns”, journalists at the UN in Geneva heard on Tuesday.

Mathew Cochrane, Spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) , briefed reporters saying that “about 80 per cent of buildings had been damaged or destroyed,” in the north of the island, which is home to around 200,000 people, adding to the destruction caused by an earlier quake on 29 July.

“Thousands of people were displaced and the main needs right now are emergency shelter and basic relief,” he said, elaborating that because the IFRC is still unable to access some remote villages, “we are far from having a complete picture of the damage.”

The earthquake not only cut power and communication lines in the area, but physical access as well.

Turning to the psychological toll of the earthquake, he said that teams spoke of coming across “ghost towns and villages” that had been abandoned.

“People have left homes. They are fearful of staying inside, or perhaps fearful of another major earthquake and a possible tsunami,” Mr. Cochrane said. He flagged that “there had been more than 130 aftershocks over the past 24 hours,” adding his suspicion that the figure had risen.

Mr. Cochrane explained that after an earthquake, “a sense of terror,” was often experienced, as people struggled with differentiating between “what’s an aftershock and what’s actually the beginning of the next major one.”

“One of the needs going forward, in addition to emergency shelter and basic relief, will be to address these emotional scars and the concerns of communities, particularly remote communities,” he stated.

He underscored that colleagues from the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) had been active from the outset.

“About 110 staff and volunteers from the Lombok branch were activated really within the first minutes after the earthquake and they had been involved in search and rescue operations, transporting people to hospitals, and providing first aid, including for many tourists”, he continued.

Pointing out that some teams had also provided advanced medical care and distributed relief supplies, he explained that many suffered personal family loss and would also need support, in addition to additional capacity.

According to Mr. Cochrane, discussions were underway on what international assistance might be needed.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

MI6 chief calls for espionage 4.0 in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Trump-China trade war lingers upsetting global economy and stock markets

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Albinism, displacement in Central America, family-friendly nations, updates on the Gulf and Darfur

Governments can fight corruption by joining the digital payment revolution

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

Moratorium call on surveillance technology to end ‘free-for-all’ abuses: UN expert

Five cities short-listed to become the European Youth Capital 2017

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

Why philanthropy for – and by – Africans is the future

Brussels enraged with Swiss referendum result to keep out EU citizens

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Brazilian officer a ‘stellar example’ of why more women are needed in UN peacekeeping

European Semester: The Winter Package explained

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

6 ways countries can prepare for the next infectious disease pandemic

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

Environmentalists have removed nearly 40 tonnes of trash from the Pacific

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

How to close the gender pay gap in three steps

UN rights chief welcomes new text to protect rights of peasants and other rural workers

Why infrastructure is the only way to fight a COVID-19 recession in the US

The World Bank’s 2020 country classifications explained

Europe might not avoid new partitioning on Ukrainian crisis

MEPs push for high ambitions at the COP25 in Madrid

10 reasons why today’s cyber leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

This new solar technology can be printed or woven into fabric

World is ‘on notice’ as major UN report shows one million species face extinction

In Afghanistan, attacks against schools have tripled in one year

Why precision medicine won’t transform healthcare – but governance could

Only international actions can settle the world’s ‘enormous and diverse cross-border challenges’, Qatar tells UN Assembly

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

This is how countries compare on gun deaths

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

Brexit mission impossible: Theresa May was so desperate that had to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

3 reasons we should all care about biodiversity

Why income inequality is bad for the climate

We have a space debris problem. Here’s how to solve it

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

Why securing the Internet of Things is crucial to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Forget retail therapy – this is the age of the conscious consumer

#TakeYourSeat at the UN Climate Change Conference: a way for all people to join the global conversation

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

Give (mental) health to the young health workforce

We are stronger than this pandemic (COVID-19)

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Brexit: the time has come to back the withdrawal deal

IMF v Germany: Eurogroup keeps the fight under control

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

With rapid, far-reaching changes, world can prevent climate change worst-case scenarios – UN chief

Toni Morrison: 10 quotes you should know

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s