British couple caught up in Indonesia earthquake share shocking ordeal

A British couple caught up in the Indonesia earthquake have shared their shocking ordeal.

After travelling the world for two years, Charlotte Bailey, 26, and partner Charlie White, 27, were caught up in the natural disaster on August 5.

The pair had just finished a late shift at a local diving centre on the island of Gili Tranwangan when they felt the first tremors.

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After running to safety as buildings began to collapse, they spent the night terrified as the earthquakes continued the night.

The pair had no chance to grab their belongings and have since set up a GoFundMe page to help the local communities that have lost their businesses and homes.

Charlie, from Daventry, Northants, said: “When the first quake hit we were running on adrenaline, we didn’t have time to think although everyone was terrified. Throughout the night there were 12 further aftershocks, each measuring over 5.0 on the richter scale which was intense to say the least.

“The longest night of our lives. Our dive team bound together and we made it through the night together showing once again the incredible support of this small community

“After feeling the initial vibrations, within the space of a few seconds these tremors turned into violent shakes. Staff from the restaurant and resort were urgently shouting at customers to get out of the area and meet on the beach and desperately directing those to the safety of the open space.

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“As soon as the tremors turned more violent, the power immediately cut out. We ran for safety with the help of the staff who were able to move all of the tourists to a safe area. Walls had collapsed, glass littered the floor and debris had fallen from the ceilings.

“Within a few minutes of reaching the safety of the beach, people started to rally around amidst the chaos and local staff worked tirelessly to help those in need. In such extreme and terrifying circumstances, one thing we will always remember is the selflessness of the local staff in keeping panic at bay and administering help.

“Debris had fallen on Charlottes foot and workers from a restaurant began to douse her foot with iodine and bandages to keep the wounds clean.

“Those who were more seriously injured were rushed to the nearby clinics where they were treated by doctors and other medical staff who were on the island on holiday.

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“We stayed up high on a hill for a couple of hours where people were being treated for minor injuries until the tsunami warning was officially lifted.”

It has been reported over 200,000 locals in Lombok have been left without homes, running water, electricity, food and medical supplies.

With 70 per cent of the local staff from Gili Trawangan have been left homeless in Lombok, many are currently inhabiting makeshift camps with their families whilst the tremors and aftershocks continue.

Charlotte said: “In the aftermath there was no time to grab belongings, although, the resorts, dive shops and kind locals made sure that as many people as possible had essentials on hand such as blankets and water to see us through the night.

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“An evacuation was ordered for all tourists on the island, however, the Gili Islands renowned for their amazing beaches, friendly locals and awesome dive sites has always maintained a strong community spirit.

“We have called The Gili Islands our second home over the last three years, largely to the unwavering kindness, genuinity and love of the Indonesian people who inhabit that tiny shaped pebble floating in the ocean and are heartbroken at the position they find themselves in in the aftermath.

“These people are like family to us and while we are slowly trying to make sense of all of this, if there is one thing we do know, it is that the community spirit of the locals and the dive industry in Gili is stronger than any earthquake could steal away from them.

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“We’ve decided to set up a fundraising page to help them with all proceeds going directly to our teams on the ground in Lombok who will use the donations to provide initial support to those who need it most including food, water, tents, blankets and medical supplies.

“We will continue to raise as much money as possible for this national crisis in Lombok and hope to return soon to our beloved Gili Trawangan to help our friends with the clean up, recovery and reopening of the islands.

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“While The Gili Islands is returning to normality with the spirited effort of the dive shops and locals, a humanitarian crisis is looming in Lombok, where thousands are in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter.

“The situation is devastating and thousands of people are badly in need of help as local supplies are running low. Any donations small or large will make a huge difference to the lives and communities in Lombok.”

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