Everything you should know about the earthquakes in Lombok and the current situation in Bali and Indonesia
Earthquakes and volcanoes are very common in Indonesia. Due to the recent situation in Lombok we brought all the information together for you.
- Why are earthquakes happening so often here in Indonesia?
- What to do when you feel an earthquake?
- How can you help the victims and the region?
- Can I still travel to Lombok, Bali and Indonesia?
Please note: We are not scientists – We collected all the information from trustworthy sources to make sure we provide you with everything you need to know about the current happenings.
What are earthquakes and why so many in Indonesia?
Earthquakes happen out of the sudden, with a shaking of the ground, mostly as a result of movements within the earth’s crust or volcanic action. Indonesia is based on the Ring of Fire.
The ring of fire goes along the Pacific ocean. Earthquakes mainly happen where the Pacific plate meets the other plates. That’s also the reason why there are many earthquakes in Japan and the west of the USA. In Indonesia the Indian-Australian plate pushes itself under the Euro-Asian plate – Indonesia is affected of the movement of more plates. The area where a plate pushes itself under another is called a subduction zone. Those tensions release in earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
Foreshocks and aftershocks of an earthquake
One earthquake never comes alone. Most of the time there is fore- and aftershocks. An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous earthquake, close to the area of the main earthquake. For the case the aftershock is bigger than the main one, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock.
The danger and damages of earthquakes
The consequences of earthquakes are depending on the strength and length. Many buildings get damaged and most deaths occur through falling materials like concrete, steel, wood and other materials. Earth slides and tsunamis can also be a result of earthquakes. Also, humans are a danger during an earthquake, escaping with panic may lead to accidents, etc.
How to measure an earthquake
An earthquake is measured with a seismograph or seismometer which collects the ground vibration. There are several scales for the evaluation of the results. The most known one is the Richter scale and the moment-magnitude scale.
What does the value mean (wikipedia)
- Magnitude > 10 = global catastrophy
- Magnitude < 10 = extremely big (extreme damage in distance of 1000 km)
- Magnitude < 9 = very big (extreme damage in distance of 1000 km)
- Magnitude < 8 = big (damage over large area)
- Magnitude < 7 = strong (damage until 70 km)
- Magnitude < 6 = medium (light until serious damage at buildings)
- Magnitude < 5 = light (shaking, moving obstacles, normally no big damage)
- Magnitude < 4 = very light (noticeable, almost no damage)
- Magnitude < 3 = extremely light (little or not noticeable but meassurable )
- Magnitude < 2 = micro (not noticeable)
How to recognise an earthquake
Earthquakes happen very suddenly, everything happens super fast. Depending on the strength of the earthquake you can feel it on your body, you can feel some vibration in your legs. You can also see it clearly when looking at a glass of water. Often animals will also behave unusually, they get loud, nervous or even leave.
How to behave during an earthquake
If you are inside a (bigger) building
- If you are in a big earthquake you won’t have much time. According to the American Red Cross, you shall to the following
- Go to the ground
- under a table, bed or similar to protect yourself from falling obstacles
- if there isn’t anything you can go under to into a corner on the ground and protect your head with your arms
- if possible hold onto a surface
- protect your head with pillow/ blanket in case you are in your bed
If you are outside
Outside is mostly a better spot to be during an earthquake, not that many obstacles can fall on you.
- Stay outside until the earthquake is over
- Keep distance to buildings, electricity lines and everything else which could fall on you
- Protect your head from obstacles
- Go to safe open space
Important: It isn’t recommended to leave your building during an earthquake. However, those recommendations go for western countries where most buildings are big. When in Indonesia, most buildings are small and the entry is close – In that case, run out!
Tsunamis and earthquakes
Especially in Indonesia, there can be a danger of tsunami after an earthquake. In that case, go with all the other people into the inland, normally there are evacuation roads.
Apps and Services for earthquakes
- Earthquake Notification (E-Mail Registration)
- Earthquake App (iOS)
- Earthquake Network (Android)
- Global Monitoring App (iOS / Android)
Note: Those apps aren’t notification services, this is only for information when, where and with what strength an earthquake was happening.
What has happened in Lombok
On August 5, 2018 at around 8 PM a strong earthquake with the strength of 6.9 hit the northeast of the island Lombok. The Indonesian government places a Tsunami warning which was released right after. Already a week before (29. July 2018) there has been an earthquake with the strengths of 6.4.
Followed by many aftershocks the north of Lombok is heavily damaged while the South is fine. The number of death is currently above 150. Most died due to falling obstacles.
Your FAQS about travels to Bali and Indonesia
Help for earthquake victims on Lombok
Lombok as well as many other islands in Indonesia are depending on tourism. Currently there is high season, we cannot even imagine how the families must feel: Loosing their houses, their income and maybe even family members.
We are all tourists in this world, no matter where we are from. Let’s help the people in Lombok together. If you are in Indonesia, you can do a cash donation to the following places (trusted resources):
- Desa Seni Yoga, Berawa
- Samadi Bali, Pererenan
- Luigi’s Hot Pizza, Batu Bolong
- Bali Fitness Village, Jimbaran
- GEO Coffee Bali, Kerobakan
- Kura Kura Surfcamp
- Material (blankets, socks, dippers, desinfection etc.) can be donated to Pipe Dream Hotel / Palate / Orchard Bar & Restaurant
Every Rupiah counts
No matter if you have a dollar to spare or 100$ – Every penny is needed. Jakartapost and Coconuts.co have created a summary of trustworthy donation organisations. Other than that, there is some amazing Fundraiser Campaigns: EARTHQUAKE Lombok ForgottenChildren and Earthquake Relief for Lombok.
The Gili Islands are closed until further notice.
Yes. Bali is fine and the live continues normally. There has been a view damages but nothing major. Bali isn’t really affected even if the earthquake was stronger than usual.
Several countries released warnings for travelling to Lombok. While the Gili Islands are evacuated and no longer able to visit (until further notice) the North of Lombok is very damaged.
The South is fine and there is none to a little damage. However be aware you are travelling into a disaster zone. Countries like Indonesia and on the island of Lombok depend on tourism.