Young Australian Family Shares Story of Evacuation From Earthquake-Stricken Gili Islands

StoryfulWeatherPublished: August 7, 2018Updated: August 8, 2018
Published: August 7, 2018Updated: August 8, 2018

A young Irish-Australian family from Perth has shared their account of surviving the deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck Indonesia’s Lombok and Gili Trawangan, where they had been holidaying. Gillian Harvey, her partner Michael and their two daughters, Sophie and Chloe, 4 and 1 years old, were dining by the beach on August 5 when they felt the ground begin to shake violently and buildings around them started to collapse. “We headed onto the sand and couldn’t stand and lay down with one of the kids each. All the power went out so the only light was from people’s phones and torches,” Gillian told Storyful. Gillian said they heeded warnings to stay at the beach, watching as “injured and possibly dead” people were carried from the rubble to the beach to try and evacuate them to hospitals on neighboring Bali or Lombok. Amidst warnings of a possible tsunami, the family moved to a nearby hill, the highest spot on the island, and stayed there until the following morning. “It was freezing up there and really scary,” she said. “Large aftershocks continued all throughout the night and some smaller ones the next day.” In this video, hordes of people are seen at the beach waiting to be evacuated off Gili Trawangan. Indonesian authorities have evacuated over 2,000 tourists and residents of the Gili island archipelago after the quake reportedly knocked out the power and water supply. Gillian said they waited over five hours, and many of the vessels were so overcrowded and “toppling over” with people that they were too fearful for the safety of their children to board. Gillian said they were eventually able to board a boat after she begged for help, and they family were able to make it back to Bali with only minor injuries. The death toll from the August 5 earthquake has now climbed to 142 with hundreds others injured and thousands of homes damaged in the worst impacted region in North Lombok. Credit: Wherearewegoingtomorrowtravel via Storyful

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