President Halimah Yacob, PM Lee: Singapore ready to help with relief efforts following Lombok quake

Indonesian search and rescue personnel work on a collapsed mosque in Pemenang, North Lombok, on Aug 6, 2018, the day after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area.
Indonesian search and rescue personnel work on a collapsed mosque in Pemenang, North Lombok, on Aug 6, 2018, the day after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area.PHOTO: AFP

President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have both written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to extend their condolences over Sunday's earthquake which struck Lombok.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday that Madam Halimah and PM Lee also conveyed Singapore's offer to assist Indonesia with its relief efforts.

Separately, the Government would make a contribution of US$100,000 (S$136,700) as seed money to kick-start the public fund-raising appeal by the Singapore Red Cross, the statement added.

Madam Halimah said: "On behalf of the people of Singapore, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the affected families, and wish the injured a quick recovery. Singapore stands ready to assist Indonesia during this difficult time. Our thoughts are with the people of Indonesia during this difficult period."

According to MFA, there have been no reports yet of Singaporeans being injured. "The embassy is also in touch with the local authorities and will closely monitor the situation," it added.

MFA set up a WhatsApp chat group for Singaporeans on Gili Trawangan Island so they can liaise with one another and return to Lombok on a speed boat at around 4pm yesterday.

It advised Singaporeans to defer travel to Lombok during this period. Those who are currently there should make the necessary arrangements to leave via commercial flights, which are still operating out of Lombok International Airport.

 
 
 

In a statement yesterday, Mercy Relief said it would be deploying a disaster response team today to Lombok to conduct the first phase of emergency relief operations. The NGO said it is working with its ground partners to ascertain the urgent needs of the disaster survivors.

It also launched a public fund-raising appeal in Singapore yesterday, which will run until Sept 8.

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) also said yesterday that it would deploy a relief team and send $50,000 to the Indonesian Red Cross. The humanitarian group has also launched a public fund-raising appeal.

SRC secretary-general and chief executive officer Benjamin William said that some of the affected areas have not been reached by rescuers, so there could be more casualties and damage.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'President, PM Lee: S'pore ready to help'. Print Edition | Subscribe