Lombok Earthquake – It was like Surfing on a Rubber Band

Three Australian mates were enjoying a steak at the Palate Café & Restaurant in Central Lombok last night when a devastating magnitude-7 Earthquake hit the holiday Island.

Businessman Michael Grossman from the coastal town of Torquay in Victoria Australia, described the sensation like he was surfing on a rubber band.

The three men remained calm when the quake began, Senior Constable Mark Jarman a Surfer from Victor Harbor in South Australia, checked his phone seeking information from an App called Earthquake, he was trying to ascertain what they were dealing with.

The information they were searching for was whether a Tsunami warning had been issued.

“That 13 minutes seemed like hours, it was total mayhem, I felt as though I was watching a movie as the scene unfolded before my eyes”, Michael said.

“The Earth started to shake, it was like surfing on land or riding a rubber band. The locals started to panic and run onto the street after the Earthquake didn’t stop, I knew we were dealing with something serious”.

Rather than evacuate, the three men made a decision to remain so they could help out by keeping people calm.

Thousands of tourists and locals were running onto the streets in panic, we felt it was necessary to do what we could the men explained.

“It was horrific witnessing what seemed like thousands of people, both locals and tourists in shock. People were crying and searching for loved ones, it was totally surreal”, Michael said.

Three Aussie Blokes in Lombok.jpg

From Left, Tony Coad, Michael Grossman & Mark Jarman

Finally after 13 long minutes my phone flashed the information we were seeking Mark said,

“No Tsunami Warning Issued”.

In true blue Aussie style Tony Coad also from Torquay declared,

“Okay then let’s have another Bintang, no need to evacuate to the hills”

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Mount Agung VOLCANO ERUPTION_volcanic pressure cooker

For me, presently living on the The Island of the Gods is like being on a roller coaster ride that never ends.

There are a small group of people (mainly expatriates) in Bali who have become the Island’s messenger service through facebook forums.

They take their job seriously. They are charting, noting and sharing research from various sources.

I am grateful to these hard working Community members who are passing on valuable information to the rest of us mere mortals.

I have never claimed to be an expert or a Volcanologist, in fact I have previously made claim that I hated science at school, I much preferred chatting, painting, dreaming and writing. Please check MAGMA Indonesia for official updates.

I have been blogging and vlogging about the human side effects I have been experiencing since The Big Fella started causing waves.

I felt compelled to publically share my online diary.

I have had positive feedback from readers all over the world. People are fascinated with Bali, why wouldn’t they be? We live on the most extraordinary Island in the world.

The waiting game of not knowing how long it will take for our guy to erupt and how much damage he will cause is indeed challenging. The uncertainty of having no idea when Gunung Agung will perform his final act is causing emotions to run high.

Mount Agung is not the only one building up like a pressure cooker…emotions are running high on our tiny Island.

Things seem to have intensified, insidious nasty and bitchy comments on facebook forums that would not be tolerated in a school ground are happening on Community forums here.

A war of words about what should and shouldn’t be said, written, posted and disguised.

I have been banned from two such forums as I have been accused of profiteering from one group and self promoting from another.

I feel like its groundhog day for me when on October 6 I announced my anxieties in a blog titled Why can’t people just be nice.

Some of us inhabitants left here on our tiny Island are bubbling, confronting realities and personal truths.

Some of us in business are facing moral dilemma’s daily, should we our keep staff?

Should we reduce wages?

If we sack our staff of course it will effect peoples lives. What about our own lives? How do we keep ourselves protected?

Some expats and wealthy Balinese do not have as much pressure as others. Some retirees also need not worry.

The stark reality of the impending eruption is that we have no idea when Mount Agung will perform his finale.

I have the utmost respect for the humanitarian soldiers out in the field, working tirelessly (often under personal attack).

People like Michele Yoga and her team who have persevered from the very beginning.

It has been lovely watching her progress since I wrote about her in October in a blog titled Tolerance, Messages and Signs.  Michele has been relentlessly fundraising, campaigning and collaborating with other organisations to help.

Michele has now set up a charity called Team Action for Amed, Michele and her team are truly miraculous.

In fact over the weekend a fan from the USA was so impressed with her work he decided to pack his bags and fly over to join her growing team members.

Michele is also becoming somewhat of a celebrity, over the weekend she received over 22K views on one of her live feed commentaries about Mount Agung.

Michele has not waivered in her love for Mount Agung. Like myself our obsession with The Big Fella reflects in our happy snaps below.

Beautiful Sunset taken in Amed by Michele Yoga  November 30th &  A dramatic scene I snapped yesterday December 10 near our home 

You would think it would be a simple task to advertise a good cause.

It is not.

A perfect example is a story about Kenny.

Kenny’s post was deleted from the same facebook forum that has refused to share my blogs.

Kenny was spruiking a good cause.

I don’t know the details as to why Kenny’s post was deleted, however I do know that one of the questions asked by the administrators was to list the address of the evacuation camp.

Kenny&Nyoman

Kenny collaborated with VisionBali and  Nyoman Danny Sridana to donate eye drops and books to Evacuees in the Red Zone.

I am so relieved that Kenny refused to answer that question as it is extremely dangerous to give out camp locations on social media. Strangely enough I didn’t know that until today.

Michele and her team made an announcement on her  page Team Action for Amed,that she had formed an alliance with Glen Hulley from Project Karma to keep evacuees safe from human trafficking and sex crimes.

Karma

Forming an Alliance.  Michele Yoga from Team Action for Amed and Glen Hulley from Project Karma

After a couple of hours of research and messages to both Glen and Michele the stark reality of Bali’s possible future outcome for some of it’s residents became frightening.

Recently while I was sitting at the Immigration Office in Denpasar I noticed a poster warning people of the dangers of Human Trafficking.

What I am about to write about may be confronting to some, it certainly is to me.

I am talking about human lives and Children’s human rights.

In an interview on The Jakarta Globe News Channel Glen discusses with Dean Benitez the organization’s efforts to combat child trafficking and exploitation. The importance of education and awareness to prevent traffikers infiltrating Bali.

Glen has generously donated Rp4 million in goods to Team Action for Amed and will donate a further Rp3 million this coming Thursday when he visits Amed to give an educational talk to evacuees.

Afterwards they plan to have entertainment for the Children

I am talking about the Island of the Gods in crises, this issue must be discussed, it must be addressed immediately.

The reality in Bali today is that life can change in a moment. The eruption of Mount Agung is ongoing. We don’t know when or if the The Big Fella will do his final performance, maybe I wont have time to upload this blog or maybe we still be facing the unknown in months to come.

The reality we face is the here and now.

The reality we face is that people will starve, or possibly already starving?  The reality we face is that human trafficking could become a problem on our Paradise Island.

Now is the time for the holiday makers, wealthy expats and rich Balinese to share their wealth and expertise. How you may ask? Well that’s easy.

Jump on Team Action for Amed or Project Karma’s website or any of the charities I have mentioned in my previous blogs.

Call into the Fly Café on Friday night if you are in Bali and meet Kenny who will happily accept donations for eyedrops to deliver to the unofficial camps.

I am calling out to all who love Bali, dig deep and give at Christmas time.

Every little bit helps.

Blessings always,

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa © 2017

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