Strong 5.9-magnitude quake jolts Indonesia's Lombok

Marsha Scott
August 12, 2018

Another powerful natural disaster has rocked Indonesia, adding further destruction to the already-ruined Lombok island.

Nyoman Sidekarya, chief of the provincial search and rescue agency that covers the Indonesian island of Lombok, tells The Associated Press that the death toll from the quake that hit the island on Sunday is now 227.

Officials said the quake's epicentre was on land and so there was no risk of a tsunami. "Some buildings were damaged further because of this".

"These figures have been provided at a meeting of district heads", a spokesman for the national board said.

Evacuees in some encampments say they are running out of food, while others are suffering psychological trauma after the 6.9-magnitude quake, which struck just one week after another tremor surged through the island and killed 17.

Over the last seven days, a total of 20 earthquakes have hit the region according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

Officials said that the toll in the earlier tremor was expected to go higher as rescue workers were still digging through rubble and trying to get aid to survivors.

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Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement that information being provided by different agencies needs to be complete before it can be cross-checked and officially verified.

Reuters witnesses reporting on the aftermath of Sunday's quake in the north of the island said buildings and walls that had already been weakened collapsed, and people ran out onto roads even as rocks tumbled down from hillsides.

The powerful 6.9-magnitude natural disaster that struck the island of Lombok has left more than 130 people dead and displaced thousands.

Volunteers and rescue personnel have erected more temporary shelters for the tens of thousands left homeless on the island.

"We can help tourists to get to the airport but of course we can't buy them tickets for free", he said, adding that authorities were providing free accommodation, food and transport to those in need.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire, " an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean Basin. An estimated 230,000 people died after a magnitude 9.1 quake triggered a tsunami off the coast of Sumatra in December 2004.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross said Tuesday all of the 2,000 tourists on the Gili Islands had now been evacuated.

A further 1447 have been injured and 165,003 displaced.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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