But on their first day of the trip, the quake destroyed nearly the whole place, and their mission took on a critical turn amid aftershocks that won't stop. Many are still waiting for aid to arrive.
A magnitude-7.0 natural disaster struck right along the coast of the Indonesian island of Lombok, near Loloan village Sunday night local time (Aug. 5), according to Indonesian authorities.
A focus for rescuers is a mosque in Karang Pangsor village in North Lombok which collapsed with worshippers still inside. Nugroho said thousands of buildings had been damaged, according to the report.
It has been a long wait for villagers.
"We watched people trying to climb on to a boat and then watched as they were literally kicked off these already overloaded boats".
"One of the local guys was telling us all to get out of the rooms".
Evacuations from Lombok continue.
Indonesian search and rescue personnel work on a collapsed mosque Monday in Pemenang, North Lombok.
More than 100 aftershocks continued to rattle the region after the main quake.
"I could not stand up", said Gino Poggiali, a 43-year-old Frenchman, who was with his wife and two children at the airport.
The death toll reached 105 on Tuesday, with 236 people injured. "Lombok was very badly affected by the Bali bombings [in 2002]", said Stuart McDonald, publisher of south-east Asia travel website Travelfish.org.
Dhaka protests: 8 journalists assaulted
A Bangladeshi child holds a placard, as she participates with protesting students in Dhaka . Protesters say that the protests were peaceful when suddenly the police used tear gas.
"A backhoe has been deployed to search for victims trapped under the rubble of a mosque in Lading-Lading village as they were praying when the quake struck", Nugroho said.
They are located in the Lombok Strait, northwest of Lombok in Indonesia.
"To get an worldwide assistance coming from out of Indonesia especially in the form of goods and personnel, the procedure is first to get confirmation from central government that this is a national-scale disaster and not a provincial one", he said.
He and his family had briefly returned to their homes, he said, to claim the food and water they could but that was now running out.
'We have limited human resources. "Some paramedics have to be at the shelters, some need to be mobile", Majdi told AFP.
'The scale of this quake is massive for us here in West Nusa Tenggara, this is our first experience'. "Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking".
He said that in such cases, the chances of survival were slim because there were few, if any, voids or spaces for survivors to take refuge.
David and Victoria Beckham were caught up in the terrifying natural disaster that hit Indonesia on Sunday night.
Some recounted their lucky escapes, while others held out hope that missing loved ones could be rescued.
More than 1,500 affected tourists have enjoyed the food provided by the food truck, which offered a variety of food and snacks like instant noodles, cookies, biscuits, coffee, tea, milk and teh tarik (pulled tea).
Hundreds of tourists and workers were still struggling to get off three outlying resort islands where power was cut off and hotels and hostels were damaged. While poorly built structures toppled rapidly, much of the island's tourist infrastructure remains more intact than imagery would suggest.