Published: Thu, August 09, 2018

Official death toll still 131 in Indonesia quake

Official death toll still 131 in Indonesia quake

A 5.9 magnitude natural disaster hit the Indonesian island of Lombok Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey, an area already struggling to recover from a massive quake that hit Sunday.

It was the third big quake to hit Lombok in little over a week.

Thousands of tourists have left Lombok since Sunday, fearing further earthquakes, some on extra flights provided by airlines and others on ferries to the neighbouring island of Bali.

"Access is tough, because the natural disaster [on Sunday] was so strong and paralyzed a lot of buildings", said Husni, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

But the spokesman for Indonesia's national disaster agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said some areas in the north had still not received any aid.

Aid begun trickling into some of the most isolated regions, officials said midday Thursday, but many people displaced by the quake still lack basic supplies.

The latest quake was felt strongly on the island and followed a 7.0 magnitude quake on Sunday that killed at least 131 people.


A strong aftershock shook the traumatized Indonesian island of Lombok on Thursday, where tens of thousands were already homeless from an earlier quake, and sent panicked residents out of their homes and cars as buildings collapsed. That number is set to rise as more victims are found in the rubble and pulled from collapsed buildings.

The Indonesian Red Cross said it was focusing its Lombok quake relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people in remote areas in the north of the island where aid still has not reached.

Almost 1,500 people are in hospital with serious injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

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

Lying on the fault lines in the Pacific Basin, Indonesia is a hotspot for earthquakes.

Wiranto said the government will develop a plan to rebuild communities on Lombok, which like its more famous neighbour Bali is a popular tourist destination with powder-white beaches, mountains and a lush interior.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that at least 131 people were killed in Sunday's quake, but other agencies say the death toll has risen to more than 300.

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