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A villager holds her child at a temporary shelter on Aug. 6 after an earthquake hit Lombok island in Indonesia. Photo by B...

Displaced Indonesians dread aftershocks after deadly earthquake

After a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the tourist island of Lombok, Indonesia, on Sunday, aid agencies worked Monday to help the estimated tens of thousands left homeless.

“People’s houses have been destroyed and they don’t want to leave their belongings. So they’re sitting outside their houses,” said Thomas Howells, Save the Children’s director of program implementation, from Jakarta, Indonesia. Save the Children is one of the international aid groups helping the area cope with the earthquake and its aftershocks.

Residents sit outside their home with their belongings. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

Residents sit outside their home with their belongings. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

An estimated 80,000 people are displaced, based on the number of homes destroyed, Howells said. The death toll reached 98 on Monday and was expected to climb. Authorities and aid agencies are coordinating to supply survivors with temporary shelters and jerry cans to hold drinkable water. Longer term, those who lost their livelihoods will likely receive cash assistance as well, he said.

People try to recover some of their belongings, including a motorcycle in Gunungsari, West Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

People try to recover some of their belongings, including a motorcycle in Gunungsari, West Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

The groups, working with the Indonesian government, are helping set up camps with child-friendly spaces. “We’re concerned that children left to their own devices could run into harm, so the idea is to have loose, local structures, like tents or light wooden structures for them to go” for supervised play, Howells said.

“For adults, losing all your possessions and having to move to a camp is distressing” and it is even more so for children, he said. “We’re trying to get some sense of normalcy back in their lives.”

A home is damaged from Sunday's earthquake. An estimated 80,000 people were displaced. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

A home is damaged from Sunday’s earthquake. An estimated 80,000 people were displaced. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

A man looks at his partially collapsed home. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

A man looks at his partially collapsed home. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

Indonesia, a collection of islands between the Indian and Pacific oceans with a population of 261 million, is part of an earthquake-prone area known as the Ring of Fire because of its seismic activity. Although the area is no stranger to earthquakes — it’s been struck by six other 6.5 magnitude or larger quakes over the past 100 years — the one on Sunday was unusually large.

The Save the Children staff in Lombok were trained for disasters, Howells said. But “when it happens to you, it’s very different than the training.” And around them, local residents are still panicking about possible additional severe aftershocks, he said.

Foreign tourists depart the islands on Aug. 6 following a major earthquake in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

Foreign tourists depart the islands on Aug. 6 following a major earthquake in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi via Reuters

Chief Water Police of Lombok Dewa Wijaya takes a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave the Gili Islands in Lombok after the earthquake struck. Photo by Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via Reuters

Chief Water Police of Lombok Dewa Wijaya takes a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave the Gili Islands in Lombok after the earthquake struck. Photo by Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via Reuters

People crowd on the shore as they attempt to leave the Gili Islands in Lombok after Sunday's earthquake. Photo by Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via Reuters

People crowd on the shore as they attempt to leave the Gili Islands in Lombok after Sunday’s earthquake. Photo by Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via Reuters