Indonesia Quake Survivors Mark `Eid in Tents

JAKARTA – In a rare moment of joy, hundreds of thousands of Indonesian earthquake survivors  celebrated the `Eid Al-Adha holiday on Wednesday in makeshift camps.

“In the past, the meat was distributed by the mosque to people in need but now we are all equal, there are no differences between the rich and the poor,” Rafiqah, whose family lost its home in one of the quakes, told Reuters.

“What is important is we are together in one evacuation camp,” she added.

The `Eid celebration comes after weeks of strong tremors that have killed more than 500 people.

Gathering on Wednesday, 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.

The jolts that rocked the island of Lombok, 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 $340mn in damage, authorities said last week, and relief and reconstruction efforts were underway.