REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Taiwanese government and businessmen have donated Rp4.4 billion to help the victims of a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake in the island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province. The aid was given through the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) on Tuesday.
"Taiwan is always ready to assist Indonesia during large disasters," Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO) representative for Indonesia, John C. Chen, stated.
He was referring to Taiwanese assistance for victims of the undersea earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.1, and subsequent tsunami in Aceh province in December 2004. Taiwanese also helped victims of Mount Merapi's eruption in Yogyakarta in 2010.
A series of earthquakes has hit East Lombok district in West Nusa Tenggara province since a magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck the island on July 29, 2018. An earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.9, rocked the island one week later. Since then, the authorities have recorded more than 800 aftershocks. A new main shock magnitude-6.9 earthquake jolted on Aug 19.
The series of earthquakes have left more than 500 people dead and forced some 400 thousand others to evacuate to safer grounds. The earthquake evacuees are reportedly running short of clean water, medicines, and fast foods.
Damage to infrastructures in the mountain range has also caused difficulties to volunteers to distribute relief aid among quake victims, according to PMI while receiving the Taiwanese aid. Chen remarked that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also expressed condolences to Indonesia over the victims of the Lombok earthquake shortly after learning about the natural disaster.