LOMBOK, Indonesia (BP) — A team trained by Baptist Global Response (BGR) was already at work on Indonesia’s Lombok island when a 6.9-magnitude earthquake with strong aftershocks hit Sunday (Aug. 5), killing nearly 100 people.
The team from BGR’s Singapore office had deployed to the resort island several days before after a 6.4-magnitude quake had rocked Lombok on July 29, killing 16.
“The team had gone in to do that first assessment, and that assessment work got even harder when the second quake hit,” said Jeff Palmer, BGR executive director.
But even so, initial reports indicate that the damage is not as devastating as it could have been, he said. Though BGR grieves with the communities and families who have lost loved ones, the scope of the disaster isn’t as significant as with some other disasters the area has withstood in recent years, Palmer noted.
“There was collapsing of shelters and homes, but the tsunami warnings were called off,” he said. “It was not a massive earthquake compared to some others we’ve seen lately.”
The group of islands where Lombok sits is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a 25,000-mile area stretching from Japan and Indonesia to California where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.
Because the Singaporean BGR team was already on location, it is continuing its response, but the Indonesian government is not calling for more outside help at this time, Palmer said.
“But we will continue to monitor and respond with our Singaporean partners,” he said. “They are fine and still able to continue with the response initiated.”
For more information or to give to relief efforts, visit https://www.gobgr.org/. While BGR is not an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, it does promote and endorse the SBC’s Cooperative Program. BGR’s partnership with Southern Baptists in meeting global human needs is fundamentally undergirded by those who give through their local churches to the Cooperative Program and to the Southern Baptist Global Hunger Relief fund.