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

At least 91 dead after quake hits Indonesia’s Lombok island

At least 91 dead after quake hits Indonesia’s Lombok island

A woman was pulled alive from a collapsed building on Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok on Tuesday, two days after a powerful quake that killed dozens, destroyed villages and left thousands of people homeless.

On Sunday, a 6.9 magnitude natural disaster struck the island of Lombok, killing more than 130 people.

Authorities carrying out search and rescue operations said they are having a hard time locating some people and treating the injured. since most of the island's medical resources have been damaged.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll from the magnitude-7 quake that struck the island on Sunday evening has risen from 91 to 98, including two deaths in Bali and 236 injured.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there are reports of other deaths but they still need to be verified.

The death toll is expected to rise to about 140 as rescuers are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas where houses, schools and mosques have been reduced to rubble.

An estimate of 156,000 residents are believed to have been displaced due to extensive damage to homes.

"We're forced to deal with broken bones in the traditional way at home because the hospital had to deal with hundreds of other injuries", said Budhiawan, the head of Lading-Lading village.

Zulas Triani, a teacher who is sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small amount of water.

The island is popular with tourists and now about 1,000 foreign visitors have been evacuated to nearby islands. Amid collapsed homes, most hotels seemed to have shut and beaches were deserted.

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So far, up to 2,700 tourists have been moved from the Gili Island.

"We estimate there are still more victims because we found many sandals in front of the mosque", Nugroho said Tuesday.

According to Caruso, even though the Lombok quake occurred on land, it struck right along the coastline, where subsequent landslides into the sea could trigger tsunamis.

"President Jokowi promised that government will assist with 50 million rupiah [about $4600] for each house flattened, but we don't know when that will be".

Officials said close to 5,000 foreign and domestic tourists had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where two people died. "That's where the epicentre was; we wanted to go to Bali".

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.

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

Sunday's quake, recorded at magnitude 6.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey (revised down from 7.0), struck at a depth of 10.5 kilometers in the northern part of Lombok, triggering a brief tsunami warning.

Around 200,000 people live in northern Lombok and the government estimates 20,000 people are in need of assistance, with around 80 percent of buildings destroyed.

Lombok's airport has reopened and has significantly increased the amount of flights coming in and out from the island.

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