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UPDATE Aug. 9, 2018

Amid continuing aftershocks, officials announced that the death toll from the largest quake, which hit the Lombok area Sunday, had risen to 259 and was expected to go higher. A strong aftershock Thursday caused more buildings to collapse, news agencies reported.

A spokesman for an Indonesian government office reportedly said on Twitter, “Evacuees and people ran out of houses when they felt the strong shake of the 6.2 magnitude quake. … People are still traumatised. Some buildings were damaged further because of this quake.”


ORIGINAL REPORT Aug 7, 2018

TWR is mustering its broadcasting resources to help Lombok as national and international agencies rush survival supplies to the Indonesian island ravaged by deadly earthquakes.

Government and nongovernmental officials are working to meet immediate physical needs: evacuating stranded tourists and providing shelter and medical help. Meanwhile, TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) is leveraging its strengths in multilingual broadcasting to provide information, encouragement and spiritual nourishment.

“This situation put the people in Lombok in the state of chaos and terror,” said Utomo Iman Santosa, a native of Indonesia who serves as TWR’s international director for Southeast Asia. “Many of them are still in shock because of the loss of their loved ones and their belongings. We hope that our programs will help the survivors to stand strong even in their difficult situation and to help them look to the true source of hope and strength, God alone.”

Santosa is flying down to Lombok this week, only a few days after the second big quake struck, to further coordinate TWR’s response. On July 29, 2018, a magnitude 6.4 quake rocked the island, located just east of better-known Bali, and a more powerful temblor followed on Aug. 5. Early reports said at least 98 people were killed and hundreds injured.

Santosa said special programming created by TWR’s national partner in Indonesia received positive responses from listeners after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 left much of Aceh province in ruins. Now the 70 episodes of Therapy for the Soul are being reviewed and adapted, if necessary, to address the needs of the Lombok crisis. Indonesian, also called Bahasa Indonesia, is one of more than 230 languages in which TWR proclaims the gospel around the world.

The program will be beamed from TWR’s powerful shortwave station on Guam and from Christian broadcaster FEBC’s station in East Bali, with an FM station on Lombok to be added to the mix if possible. Arrangements are also in the works for a local network of churches on Lombok to collaborate with TWR to promote the broadcasts and distribute radios to households needing them.

TWR maintains its international corporate office in Cary and has more than 60 national partners globally. In the aftermath of natural disasters – among them Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Nepal earthquakes of 2015 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 – TWR frequently mobilizes its network of communication technology and local ministry teams to help with recovery efforts.

Photo: Indonesian President Joko Widodo (facing camera) inspects damage after the initial earthquake struck Lombok.