Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Another strong quake hits Indonesia's Lombok, witnesses say buildings have collapsed

Another strong quake hits Indonesia's Lombok, witnesses say buildings have collapsed

Another Indonesian government agency has put the figure at 381, a significant increase from figure of 131 reported on Wednesday. The BNPB earlier told Reuters that 131 people had died.

It was the strongest of some 355 aftershocks that have rattled the island since Sunday.

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"We don't know for sure how many people are alive under the rubble", BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters. Search and rescue teams have been working to access those in the worst-affected areas, close to the epicentre in northern Lombok.

Lombok is a roughly 4,500 sq km (1,700 sq miles) island east of the slightly larger island of Bali.

Buildings still standing on the island have been weakened after Sunday's 7.0 quake, as well as a 6.4 quake on July 29 that killed 16.

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

With hospitals and clinics also affected, numerous injured have had to be treated in the open air or in makeshift clinics.

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"In some villages we visited the destruction was nearly 100 percent, all houses collapsed, roads are cracked and bridges were broken", said Arifin Muhammad Hadi, a spokesman for the Indonesian Red Cross.

'Evacuees and people ran out of houses when they felt the strong shake of the 6.2 magnitude quake. There are growing concerns that the important tourism industry will be badly hit at what should be a busy time.

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

The 5.9-magnitude quake struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of the island, the US Geological Survey said, even as relief agencies raced to find survivors among the wreckage from Sunday's quake.

"We've lost a lot of bookings and future guests are in wait-and-see mode".

Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, is regularly hit by earthquakes.

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