Melbourne man trapped in Gili Islands following deadly quake left in the dark by DFAT
An Melbourne man says he is “disappointed and hurt” with the treatment he received from the Australian government following the deadly Indonesian earthquake.
Dale Maffescioni was celebrating his 38th birthday with friends on the island of Gili Trawangan when the magnitude-6.9 quake struck on Sunday night.
“The sound was immense, the rumbling was so loud for like give seconds before the whole place just shook,” Mr Maffescioni told 9news.com.au.
“I mean violent shaking with (everything) moving and toppling over.”
The 38-year-old said the hotel guests were evacuated to higher ground following the quake, before eventually making their way back to the other side of the island.
“When we finally got to our hotel it had been totally demolished at areas,” he said.
Mr Maffescioni said he and his friends were taken down to the harbour the next morning while authorities began evacuating locals.
“The first contact I made with (the) Australian government was a text and call, and basically (they) kept talking only about Lombok not Gili T,” he explained.
A text message shown to 9news.com.au reveals a consular staff member told Mr Maffescioni a case was being created for him and his party, and someone would contact him when the Australian Consulate in Bali opened in the morning.
However, Mr Maffescioni said he didn’t receive any information from Australian authorities.
“I called them again last night and this morning wanting to know how to get off the island and who they had sent to help with the language barriers given all the locals had gone from the island.
“I am very disappointed and hurt that there has been no contact from them, I even asked the last person I spoke to this morning to text or arrange a call to even confirm if we got off the island, and still not got anything.
“We were basically left to fend to ourselves in a catastrophic event.”
Mr Maffescioni was eventually evacuated overnight and is now in Bali.
He said there are a lot of people still on the island with no indication of when they will be evacuated.
“The worst part was not knowing anything from anyone especially after asking and (texting) so for help so many times.”
He said he had signed up all details in the government’s Smart Traveller website and hasn’t received “not even an email” advising of the earthquake.
9news.com.au has reached out to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for a response.
Meanwhile, the quake has also sparked a tourist exodus from the island as travellers rushed to leave.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) expected the death toll to rise once the rubble of more than 13,000 houses was cleared away after two powerful quakes in a week.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and a team of Australian delegates escaped from the 12th floor of a Lombok hotel, after Sunday's quake brought down parts of the building.
Other Australians have told of running for their lives, including resort manager Evan Burns who fled 3km with his wife and toddler son up a nearby mountain, fearing a tsunami.
"The force was so severe that it threw us out of bed, and the walls immediately started cracking," he told AAP on Monday.
He estimates 70 per cent of his Senggigi resort's guests have made their way to the airport but are stuck there, with flights unable to cope with the mass exodus.
Officials said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where fears of another tsunami spread.
BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said emergency units in hospitals were overflowing and some patients were being treated in parking lots.
Some 236 people were injured and more than 20,000 displaced, he said.