CYPRUS: Foreign Ministry travel warning for quake-hit Indonesia

Larry Hoffman
August 10, 2018

Local authorities said Monday that the official death toll from Sunday's massive natural disaster in Indonesia has climbed to at least 142, and more than two hundred people were injured.

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

The death toll from a shallow 6.9-magnitude quake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has risen above 130, officials said Wednesday, with some 156,000 forced from their homes.

People ride motorcycles along a street next to collapsed shops after an natural disaster hit on Sunday in Pemenang, Lombok island, Indonesia, August 7, 2018.

Reports said the 6.9-magnitude quake which struck the Indonesian tourist islands of Lombok on Sunday killed almost 100 people and left at least 20 000 others homeless.

More than 1,500 affected tourists have enjoyed the food provided by the food truck, which offered a variety of food and snacks like instant noodles, cookies, biscuits, coffee, tea, milk and teh tarik (pulled tea).

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with much-needed food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks have now arrived in Lombok.

Rescuers carry the body of an quake victim recovered from the collapsed Jabal Nur mosque in North Lombok, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018.

There are fears the death toll will rise as workers with heavy machinery claw through the rubble of homes, schools and mosques, with hopes of finding any survivors fading.

"There's a massive rush of people wanting to get out of Lombok because of unfounded rumours, such as of a tsunami", Muhammad Faozal, the head of the tourism agency in West Nusa Tenggara province, told AFP.

The shallow 6.9-magnitude quake on Sunday destroyed thousands of buildings and triggered panic among tourists and locals.

Lombok had already been hit by a 6.4 quake on July 29 that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

Sahril, who uses one name, said he escaped his collapsing house in North Lombok with his immediate family, but his older brother is buried in his flattened home in the village of Cubek.

Nadia Revanale, 23, was shopping in a minimart in Pemenang at the time of the tremor, the second major quake to rock the island in a week.

Lombok International Airport reopened Monday, but national airline Garuda International announced some flights to the island could be delayed.

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

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.

The joint team has evacuated at least 4,636 tourists and local residents of the islands by boat to Benoa Port on Bali as well as to Lembar Port and Bangsal Port on Lombok as of Monday night, according to BNPB.

"We were all anxious of a tsunami hitting the whole night, people were climbing up trees and locals were screaming and praying", Scott said.

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