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

12 August, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • The Gili islands is located just off the coast of Lombok

The death toll for the earthquakes is believed to have topped 300, with the latest 5.8 magnitude quake further damaging buildings and causing panic.

Officials said the epicenter of the aftershock was on land and so there was no risk of a tsunami.

In northern Lombok, some people leaped from their vehicles on a traffic-jammed road while an elderly woman standing in the back of a pickup truck wailed "God is Great".

The country's disaster mitigation agency says the death toll is at least 259, Reuters says.

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.

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The governor of the province that includes Lombok, the military and the national search and rescue agency each issued different death tolls that ranged from 226 to 381.

But disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement the information from those sources was incomplete and hadn't been cross-checked for duplication.

The official toll from the original natural disaster on Sunday is at 164, but other government agencies have offered estimates of up to twice as much.

A field hospital in Tanjung, one of the hard-hit districts in north Lombok, was still treating patients Friday because hospitals are damaged or overwhelmed.

Villagers and relatives prayed outside a tent where the girl's body lay covered in a white cloth. Many Indonesian speakers wrote messages on Facebook using the word "selamat" - which can mean "safe" but also "congratulations" - triggering celebratory animations.

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Rescue workers are still digging through rubble and trying to get aid to survivors of the earlier, larger quake. "Children were running out from the building in panic and she was stepped on by her friends".

Motorcycles parked on the street toppled over and the walls of some nearby buildings collapsed.

Indonesia is located on the Pacific "Ring of Fire". This data, Sutopo said, will be the official data and verification is important as the basis for disbursing public money for aid.

"We can help tourists to get to the airport but of course we can't buy them tickets for free", he said, adding that authorities were providing free accommodation, food and transport to those in need.

More than 20,000 people are believed to have been made homeless by the latest quake, with 105 killed and 236 severely injured, officials said Tuesday. A devastating quake on Sunday killed hundreds, and a strong aftershock on Thursday caused panic among evacuees.

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