Malaysia is offering assistance in search and rescue (SAR) operations as well as for rehabilitation for victims following the earthquake disaster in West Nusa Tenggara and Lombok yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government would wait for feedback from the Indonesian government regarding the form of assistance they wanted and that National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) had been placed on standby to assist in SAR operations.
"So far, there has been no request (for SAR or rehabilitation aid) from the Indonesian side, but we are ready to offer such assistance,” she told a press conference after attending a tea party with the PKR machinery for the Sungai Kandis state by-election yesterday.
Also present were the PKR candidate for the by-election, Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni.
Dr Wan Azizah said this in commenting on the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that jolted West Nusa Tenggara and Lombok this morning, in which a Malaysian named Siti Nur Ismawida Ismail, 30, was also killed.
The victim was reportedly with 17 other Malaysians participating in a climbing mission to Mount Rinjani, an active volcano in East Lombok, when the temblor struck.
According to East Lombok police chief, M Eka Fahurrahman, the Siti Nur Ismawida died when the walls of a building collapsed on her.
“A total of 18 Malaysians were on a mission to climb Mount Rinjani, six have been injured while the others are safe,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also PKR president, said Siti Nur Ismawida was a PKR member from Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.
Mission to Laos
In another development, the deputy prime minister stated that the government had sent 22 officials to carry out a massive flood-relief humanitarian mission in Laos due to the recent tropical storm Son Tinh.
Laos was reportedly hit by a catastrophe when a hydropower dam under construction collapsed, causing massive flooding.
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had expressed concern about the earthquake that has claimed 10 lives, including that of the Malaysian.
“(Dr Mahathir) has instructed to help the Malaysians and to keep an eye on the situation, if necessary, to extend aid to Indonesia,” Saifuddin told Bernama when met at the Perdana Leadership Foundation yesterday.
The Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta has activated the Operations Room following the earthquake and Malaysians in Lombok who need consular assistance can contact the Embassy via email [email protected]/ [email protected] or phone number +62215224947 and + 6281380813036 (whatsapp).
The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement urged Malaysians to remain calm and follow local news for the latest developments.
Jokowi heads to Lombok
Meanwhile, according to an Indonesian media report, as of 6 pm, 14 victims were reported to have died in the earthquake that destroyed thousands of homes and buildings.
According to Indonesian authorities, hundreds of residents are also reportedly injured and are now being treated in hospitals and clinics around Lombok.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is reportedly going to Lombok tomorrow in the aftermath of the disaster.
According to the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the earthquake occurred at 5.47 am with its epicentre 28km northeast of Lombok at a depth of about 10km.