KEKAIT, Indonesia: Hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors on the Indonesian island of Lombok celebrated the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday in makeshift camps on Wednesday, in a rare moment of joy after weeks of strong tremors that have killed more than 500 people.
The evacuees prayed, chanted and feasted together, marking the festival of sacrifice in open rice fields and under tents. Many communities received extra livestock as donations for the ritual of animal sacrifice, residents said, told AFP.
“In the past, the meat was distributed by the mosque to people in need but now we are all equal, there’s no differences between the rich and the poor,” said Rafiqah, whose family lost its home in one of the quakes.
“What is important is we are together in one evacuation camp,” she added.
The jolts that rocked the island, which is popular with tourists for its beaches, flattened entire villages and many mosques in the north, forcing more than 350,000 people to flee their homes for fear of aftershocks.
The earthquakes caused at least US$340 million in damage, authorities said last week, and relief and reconstruction efforts were underway.