Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Strong quake again hits Indonesia's Lombok island

Patty Aguilar | 09 August, 2018, 21:40

The US Geological Survey said the quake, felt on the nearby holiday island of Bali, measured 5.9 on the Richter scale. It brought down some buildings. Rescue workers were still digging through rubble and trying to reach survivors of Sunday's quake. Some villages have collapsed entirely.

Some aid agencies have given much higher figures for the toll, but the National Disaster Mitigation Agency says those figures are unverified.

Sunday's quake also sent some 2,500 people to hospital with serious injuries and drove more than 156,000 people from their homes.

The national disaster agency said all those numbers were likely to increase, as more information comes in and more victims were found.

Videos showed rubble strewn across the streets and clouds of dust enveloping buildings.

State-run news agency Antara reported overnight 347 had been killed by the quake, but Nugroho said the tally was incomplete and unverified.

The quake sparked a tsunami warning which was later cancelled, the Jakarta Post reported.

Lombok island is an Indonesian island east of Bali and west of Sumbawa - it is part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain. "Where should we go if we have no house anymore, nowhere to live?" said the mother of 15- and 9-year-old girls.

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Aid groups say children are particularly vulnerable, with many sleeping in open fields and suffering illnesses from lack of warm clothing and blankets.

Officials said about three-quarters of Lombok's rural north had been without electricity since Sunday, although power had since been restored in most areas.

"I visited villages yesterday that were completely collapsed".

Makeshift medical facilities have been set up to treat the injured.

However, he said Thursday the "death toll has jumped significantly", without providing further details. There are growing concerns that the important tourism industry will be badly hit at what should be a busy time.

Thousands of buildings have been damaged by Sunday's quake which has left 156,000 people homeless.

"We've lost a lot of bookings and future guests are in wait-and-see mode. I don't think people will choose Lombok anymore this summer". It struck at a depth of 10km (6 miles).

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it is situated in the "Ring of Fire", an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many tremors and volcanic eruptions occur.

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