When a charter in Komodo National Park ended in mid-August Dunia Baru was scheduled to undergo regular maintenance in Bali. But the superyacht’s owner had other plans. By then the extent of the devastation a magniture 6.9 earthquake had caused on Lombok on 5 August was becoming apparent, and Dunia Baru’s owner, Mark Robba, decided to put the maintenance on hold and instead contribute towards the relief effort on Lombok.
This is cruise director Clive White’s report of that relief effort:
Just as we arrived in Bali after a 40-hour passage from Komodo we received a lorry-drop from Yogyakarta: 1000 blankets and 2000kg of rice, as well as many other donations of food and aid. Dunia Baru’s team put out word of the planned relief trip and friends and family were quick to respond. By the time the superyacht left for Lombok she was carrying boxes upon boxes of drinking water and hundreds of tarpaulins, as well as fuel, parcels of clothing and food, 30 beds, 300 tins of food and hundreds of other essential items.
We arrived at Lombok and headed to Medina bay, an anchorage we’d heard was safe and with good access to the jetty for unloading the supplies onboard. After a quick meeting with staff already on the ground, the lorries arrived and the loading began. People formed chains to ensure the speedy loading and by early afternoon half all the supplies were on the lorries.
We stopped off at various villages that that were considered most damaged and worked with the Military Police to ensure the aid was going to the right people. It was a very sad site that greeted us, with as many as 30 to 40 percent of buildings destroyed and almost every building showing signs of damage. The death toll had exceeded 500 at this stage and it was easy to see it would rise as the rubble piles are removed.
Our guides and drivers maneuvered the vehicles along roads damaged by landslides and gaping cracks hundreds of meters in length. In the villages we distributed the items we’d brought, along with 250 meals the chefs on Dunia Baru had prepared. The villagers were so pleased with the aid, which was distributed fairly to the most needy. Our youngest team member, Colby, had sweets to give to the children.
On the second day we loaded lorries again and headed for a village we’d seen on the previous day – it was almost completely destroyed. The school, which showed many signs of damage left behind by the quake, became the meeting and distribution hub, and unloading began. We distributed our last lorry loads, along with another 250 meals, to another village including another 250 meals.
So many people we encountered seemed very scared of future quakes, and it wasn’t difficult to see the sadness beneath their smiles. The area was very badly affected and the people of Lombok, although resistant, were showing signs of shock at the events that had shook this area.
We departed Lombok with heavy hearts, but happy in the knowledge we had tried our best. A big thank you to Mark Robba for his generosity and great organization in making this trip happen. There are many ongoing projects with relief work going on and we thank everyone involved in the relief project – and on behalf of all the crew and all those affected by the earthquake, thank you for the many offers of help.
If you would like to help further, here are some organisations we’ve identified who are helping on Lombok.