Third strong earthquake shakes Lombok as death toll tops 300

09 August, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Sheila Harris
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The death toll from a devastating natural disaster on the Indonesian island of Lombok jumped to 319 Thursday, as strong aftershocks triggered panic among traumatized survivors waiting for aid in the worst-hit regions.

The quake was the second in a week to hit Lombok.

The United States Geological Survey recorded the latest quake at 5.9, at a depth of 10 km (six miles).

The new tremor hit off the north-west coast of Lombok, sending people running into the streets in panic. It did not have the potential to cause a tsunami, the agency added.

The death toll from the Lombok quake has risen dramatically to 347, the government-run news agency Antara has said.

"The death toll rose to 164 people with at least 1,400 people seriously injured and 156,000 displaced", national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

Officials have said that the death toll will likely rise as rescuers continue to sift through the rubble.

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.

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Thousands of tourists visiting Lombok - as well as the nearby Gili Islands and Bali - have been evacuated or have chosen to leave since the weekend.

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been hit by a strong tremor, as the search continues for victims of Sunday's natural disaster.

Still, government assistance was barely a trickle in the west Lombok village of Kekait where Zulas Triani, an elementary school teacher who was sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small ration of water.

There is a dire need for medical staff and "long-term aid", especially food and medicine in the worst-hit areas, government officials said.

But some evacuees have complained of being ignored or experiencing long delays for supplies to arrive at shelters.

A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

Thousands of people have been sleeping in makeshift shelters or out in the open.

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