The Lombok earthquake destroyed Faizal Muzaki’s house on 29 July 2018, forcing the nine-year-old and his parents to live in a camp they set up next to debris in Bilok Betung village, East Lombok. Faizal asked his mother, Rozali, to save the “chicken bank” he got from his parents a month before the quake. His parents surprised him after they found it in the ruins. “I saved some money that my grandmother and parents gave me. When it’s full, I’ll buy school books,” says the third grader.
“This is what I saved from the earthquake,” said Kadri, 31, who works for the government, while pointing out to his cracked black motorbike. “This bike is very important for me to travel around as my working place is located far from here, 26 kilometers on a winding road.” Public transport isn’t easy in his village Dangiang in North Lombok especially after the earthquake. “My wife is pregnant now and we are expecting our second child. I can use this motorbike to move around fast in case my wife needs urgent help when I am outside.”
Baisaripatul lost her daughter, Mazraatul Akhirah, seven, in the earthquake. She was working at the farm in East Lombok when the quake shook her village and flattened her house. She rushed home from work to find her daughter in the rubble. She immediately took Mazraatul to the hospital but her daughter died there. While clearing up the ruins of her house, Baisaripatul found Mazraatul’s favourite mattress, where she used to play. Every time Baisaripatul looked at the mattress, she missed her daughter more. “I decided to burn the mattress and accept that my daughter has gone for good,” she said. “I’m very sad but I am trying to move on now.”
“I nearly lost my daughter, Dian Aruningati, to this earthquake. I was standing outside when a strong tremor rocked and flattened my house on Sunday evening,” said Sudarman, 48, a labourer in Dangiang village, North Lombok. “Dian was buried in the rubble. I dug for almost 30 minutes to save her.” Sudarman was relieved to find his beloved daughter alive despite her injuries. “She is the most valuable thing in my life,” he said. But a few minutes later, he discovered sad news as he found his brother, Jamil, and eight of Sudarman’s families dead. “I buried four of them,” he said, weeping. “I wanted to honour all nine of them but I had to have help to bury the other five.”
An English dictionary is among the debris. Hundreds of children affected by the Lombok earthquake have been unable to go to school now as their schools were destroyed by the earthquake.
Intan, 30, had been selling food for two years, which helped her support the family. The quake that struck her hometown of Dangiang in North Lombok destroyed her job. “After the quake, I was able to save some of my stock and the store front. There was a rumour a big tsunami would happen and I escaped to higher ground with all people in this village,” she said. “When we returned home, my stock was stolen. All I have now is my cracked store front. I am hoping that I will be able to start selling food again one day.”
“We miss our friend Mala. She used to live here but now has moved out with her family to another town far away from here.” Children affected by the quake in Bilok Betung, East Lombok, showed the Indonesian Red Cross team the destruction in their village. “We come here sometimes when we miss her.”
Saiful Bahri, 50, is happy when the Indonesian Red Cross teams arrive with a water truck in her village in East Lombok. The earthquake has severely damaged the public water supply and community water facilities across the island. Water is critical as well as sanitation after the quake. Bahri could not help but smile when she takes water home.
Photos and stories by Husni, IFRC and Aulia Arriani, PMI