Lombok natural disaster: Powerful tremors rock Indonesia days after 347 die

Cheryl Sanders
August 9, 2018

The number of confirmed deaths from an quake that hit the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday has risen to 259 and would rise as more victims are found in the rubble, the disaster mitigation agency said.

The quake occurred in North Lombok district at a depth of 12 kilometers, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

The quake killed more than 100 people in Lombok and injured hundreds of others, leaving thousands of locals homeless and tourists stranded.

Many people remain trapped under the rubble in the city waiting to be rescued, and today's natural disaster is likely to trap more.

The number forced from their homes in the disaster has soared to 270,000, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, with around 1,000 people severely injured. It did not have the potential to cause a tsunami, the agency added.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 5.9.


The powerful aftershock caused buildings to collapse.

Aid began reaching isolated areas of the Indonesian island struggling after a powerful quake, while rescuers doubled down on efforts to find the dead, pulling another body from the rubble.

Grieving relatives were burying their dead and medics tended to people whose broken limbs hadn't yet been treated in the days since Sunday's quake.

Officials said the death toll had now risen to 319 and tens of thousands of people are homeless.

Panicked residents fled into the streets, witnesses said.

It further weakened any buildings still standing on the island in the wake of Sunday's 7.0 quake, and a 6.4 quake on July 29 that killed 16, complicating rescue operations.


Other evacuees said they were subsisting on a diet of instant noodles and needed clean water and bedding.

In Kopang Daya, injured villagers got their first proper treatment Thursday after medics arrived with a portable X-ray and other supplies. "Where should we go if we have no house anymore, nowhere to live?" said the mother of 15- and 9-year-old girls. "I do hope the government can help", she said.

The island is a popular holiday spot and thousands of tourists have now left.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

There have been 355 aftershocks since the last natural disaster happened on Sunday, which killed at least 131 people.


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