82 dead after 7.0 quake shakes Indonesia's Lombok island

10 August, 2018, 04:18 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Indonesia Struck by 2nd Massive Earthquake in a Week

Thousands of tourists are trying to get off Indonesia's Gili Islands in the wake of a magnitude-6.9 natural disaster which collapsed buildings. The first quake was also felt on Bali.

About three-quarters of Lombok's north has been without electricity since Sunday, officials said, and aid workers are finding some hamlets hard to reach because bridges and roads were torn up by the disaster.

"We need heavy equipment because some mosques have collapsed and we suspect some worshippers are still trapped inside", he told Metro TV.

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. Officials are still searching for missing people among the rubble and estimate that the number of dead and injured persons will climb.

The powerful quake killed at least 91 people and damaged thousands of buildings in Lombok.

At magnitude 6.9, Sunday's quake released more than five times the energy of the earlier one, the United States Geological Survey website said. A magnitude 6.4 quake on July 29 killed 16 people.

The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics said more than 120 aftershocks were recorded, including a tremor so powerful it was felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, where two people died.

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Video showed screaming people running in panic from houses in a Bali neighbourhood and vehicles rocking. On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets to evacuation centres.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said emergency units in its hospitals were overflowing and some patients were being treated in parking lots.

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"They are mostly buildings with weak construction material", Nugroho said. However, an initial warning of a tsunami with waves of up to half a metre was later withdrawn.

National flag carrier Garuda said it would put on extra flights from Lombok to Jakarta to help tourists who wanted to leave.

At least one person, an Indonesian holidaymaker, was killed on the Gili islands while another tourist died on nearby Bali, which is a major destination.

Valentin Valla, a French tourist in the town of Mataram said the quake woke up tourists who ran out of their hotel, but there was no apparent damage.

"There are now 447 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Indonesia and 9 registered as being in Lombok".

"It was just a lot of panic because no one knew what was happening".

Thousands of people are now trying to get off the island, she said, describing the mood as both sombre and panicked.

"We then found out this morning that Gili T [Trawangan], Gili Meno and Gili Air were being evacuated by the Navy".

Like its famous neighbor Bali, Lombok is known for beaches, mountains and a lush interior.

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