Indonesia quake deaths top 130, aid effort intensifies

Leroy Wright
August 8, 2018

Indonesian authorities are charging stranded tourists to be rescued off some of the islands hit by Sunday's devastating quake, a witness has claimed. CBS2's Ben Tracy reports.

The majority of people died in Kayangan, on the north side of the island, Antara reported.

Some 4,600 tourists have been evacuated from the Gili Islands, three tiny, coral-fringed tropical islands off the northwest coast of Lombok which are popular with backpackers and divers.

The death toll now sits at 98, but that number is expected to climb as the natural disaster response continues. The figure was expected to rise.

The death toll from a powerful quake that hit Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok topped 100 on Tuesday as rescuers found victims under wrecked buildings, while thousands left homeless in the worst-affected areas waited for aid to arrive.

Speaking to Khaleej Times from the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Mulraney has described the horror of being stranded on the island after the natural disaster hit the area, along with thousands of other tourists and locals who did not have a way of escaping the island as there weren't enough boats or rescue teams available.

The north of Lombok has been devastated by the magnitude 7.0 quake that struck on Sunday night, killing at least 105 people, seriously injuring more than 230 and destroying thousands of buildings.

North Lombok is the hardest hit area.

Almost 2,500 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries and more than 156,000 people are displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said on Twitter it had rescued more than 3,000 people from the Gilis by Monday evening and many more were yet to be evacuated. "The customers managed to escape, but he himself didn't", Sahril said. "He had no chance to scream (for) help".

Tending to the many injured was also a major effort.

After sleeping on the beach, the couple joined thousands of other tourists packed on to the island's beaches waiting to be evacuated. On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried the injured on stretchers and carpets. Many victims were treated outdoors because hospitals were damaged.

"We don't know for sure how many people are alive under the rubble", said Mr Nugroho.

"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 warning was lifted after only small waves were recorded.

She said: "My house was flattened".

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"They have not been touched by any assistance", Nguroho said.

British tourist Saffron Amis, who was stranded on Gili Trawangan island, said she spent a second night outdoors as aftershocks rattled the region before finally securing space on a boat.

"Where should we go if we have no house anymore, nowhere to live?"

By Monday morning, with electricity off and hotels and hostels damaged, thousands were desperate to leave.

"There were locals that were on there to flee the island that were in floods of tears".

"Without the businesses open and repaired there will be limited tourists therefore the impact on locals and the island itself is unthinkable".

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

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

"A lot of people are displaced, and many have migrated to the hilly and mountainous areas because of fear of a tsunami".

Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, posted pictures of the destruction on his Facebook page and said his 10th-floor hotel room shook violently and walls cracked.

"We still very much need food for adults and for children, [including] blankets, tents, drugs and water". "Shaking. Parts of the building crumbling". "Everyone's a bit shaken, but all well".

He lives two doors away from his aunt, Salama.

Sanisah and her extended family group of about 10 people had had three bags of rice to share that day.

Hours later, she asked news organizations not to write more stories about her lively stream-of-consciousness tweets, suggesting media focus instead on those who need help.

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