Updated: 12.20, August 6
A second earthquake struck the popular tourist destination of Lombok last night, at 6.45pm local time with a magnitude of 7.
The earthquake has caused damage to buildings and taken a number of lives in the north of the country.
This new emergency comes hot on the heels of an earlier earthquake, and the unpredictable eruptions of Mount Agung on neighbouring Bali.
The islands of Bali and Lombok are some of the most attractive holiday destinations in Indonesia, but they are also the most seismically active and prone to volcanic events and earthquakes.
This unpredictable nature has caught out many travellers on the island.
To be caught in an earthquake of such scale is a disruptive and terrifying ordeal, doubly so if you are travelling in a foreign country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel has said that “There is no information to suggest New Zealanders have been affected by this incident at this stage.”
“There are currently 523 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Indonesia and fifteen registered as being in Lombok.”
However, the ministry said that the number of travellers is “fluid and is likely to increase as New Zealanders in an affected location often register following a disaster”.
It is advised that any unregistered New Zealand travellers should register their details on now, follow any instructions issued by local authorities and let family members in New Zealand know they are okay.
“New Zealanders requiring consular assistance can call the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta on (+ 62 21) 2995 5800.”
Should you be caught up in caught in a natural disaster while on holiday, what is the best course of action to take?
There are many steps you can take to help prepare yourself for the unexpected while abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has compiled advice for New Zealanders on how to keep best prepared for “unforeseen events” such as natural disaster or unrest.
Advice for New Zealanders abroad
- Ensure your passport is up to date with a minimum of six months validity before travelling.
- Also, it is worth checking your credit cards are not about to expire and will be valid for at least six months as well. Before you travel make sure you have sufficient credit, should you need to pay for unexpected flights or emergency accommodation.
- It is advisable to keep “adequate supplies of essentials” as an emergency kit that will be able to support you for at a couple of days. This might include cash – in case of a run on ATMs – food supplies which will last for several full days, any medicines, torches, a radio and spare batteries for devices especially for mobile phones and laptops.
- Having a departure plan ready in advance is also valuable. This may require checking if entry visas will be required in advance, should you have to leave via another country.
- Keep passports, essential documents and emergency s in one place which is easily accessible to you. This should include a copy of your travel insurance policy.
- Most importantly, keep friends and family in New Zealand informed of your plans.
MFAT urges travellers to register their details on the SafeTravel website () including planned departure date. For the most up to date news and advice check the Safe Travel website and local media.
Travel insurance is a vital part of meeting with the risks of unpredictable natural disasters, it is advisable to take out a comprehensive policy and be aware of what exactly that covers.
In the wake of a natural disaster a robust policy can be useful in “helping with any costs related to health, loss or damage of property or travel disruptions,” says Chris White, CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance.
Southern Cross has the following advice to travellers caught up when a natural disaster strikes:
“Follow the instructions of any local officials or emergency personnel and seek medical attention if you need it.”
“If you need to change your travel plans to get home, your service providers, such as the airline or tour operator, for assistance in the first instance.” If you are unsure as to the amount you are covered for “speak to your travel insurer or check their website before making any changes.”
Travellers who have been impacted by the earthquake are advised to “keep all original documentation of delays or cancellation from their airline (including emails), along with the receipts of their additional expenses, such as accommodation and meals.”
Policies taken out with the company before 11:00am 6 August 2018 (New Zealand time) “are covered for disruptions to their travel as a result of the earthquake.”
The company have put together a specific set of advice for customers affected by the Lombok earthquake, which can be read here: