Economic activities in Lombok resume after earthquake
Panca Nugraha and Kharishar Kahfi
The Jakarta Post
Shop owners in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, have resumed business after taking refuge for the past two days, following a powerful earthquake that killed over 100 people in the province on Sunday evening.
Convenience stores, supermarkets and vegetable vendors' stalls were open and busy with customers in Mataram and surrounding areas on Tuesday. Supermarket parking lots were busier than in the past two days. However, traditional markets, including those between Mataram and western Lombok, remained closed as their buildings were severely damaged.
Aminah, 45, returned to selling meals and fresh vegetables on Tuesday after taking refuge with her children in Monjok Mosque.
She said that although she was traumatized by the earthquake, she was more worried about not having enough money.
"I prepared myself to cook today. Yesterday, we were still afraid of going home and turning on the stove because of the aftershocks," she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recorded that, as of Tuesday afternoon, 256 aftershocks have hit since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the province on Sunday evening.
Many of the customers were evacuees like herself. They ordered ready-to-eat takeout dishes as most did not have the means to cook at home, or did not want to go through the trouble of preparing a warm meal at a shelter.
Grocery store owner Lalu Aminullah, 37, is another vendor who resumed business on Monday. He was encouraged to start selling food again after seeing many other shop owners do the same.
"I sold instant noodles and bottled mineral water near a shelter at the Islamic Center Mosque," he said.
Previously, Mataram residents had difficulties getting basic needs as most shops were closed.
“There were basically no economic activities going on in the past two days here,” 64-year-old civil servant Suyanto said. (swd)
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