World News

Indonesian rescuers struggle to reach cut-off villages after deadly quake

Indonesian rescuers struggle to reach cut-off villages after deadly quake

Sunday's shallow tremor sent thousands of residents and tourists scrambling outdoors in Lombok, where many spent the night as strong aftershocks including one of 5.3-magnitude rattled the island.

Roads and bridges have been damaged, making it difficult to access some hard hit areas.

The military said it would send a ship with medical aid, supplies and logistics support.

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

It was a rare moment of joy since the quake struck, killing at least 98 people, including two on nearby Bali Island.

Officials said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where fears of a tsunami spread soon after the quake.

Aid agencies including Oxfam, the Red Cross and Save the Children, working with local partner agencies, say they are scrambling to get sufficient aid to those most in need.

"To get an worldwide assistance coming from out of Indonesia especially in the form of goods and personnel, the procedure is first to get confirmation from central government that this is a national-scale disaster and not a provincial one", he said.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency (BNPB), said on Twitter rescuers were combing through rubble in their search for survivors. Just days earlier, on July 29, another deadly quake, this one a magnitude 6.4, hit the same area.

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The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.0 quake struck at a depth of 10.5 kilometres about two kilometres east-southeast of Loloan.

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It was also felt strongly in the neighbouring Bali, a predominantly Hindu island in the world's largest Muslim majority nation. That quake killed at least 16 people and injured more than 300, according to The Washington Post.

"We have yet to ask for help from the global (community). I jumped from the terrace to the swimming pool and the water from swimming pool was coming over my feet, it was everywhere", he said.

Indonesian search and rescue personnel work on a collapsed mosque in Pemenang. Amid collapsed homes, most hotels seemed to have shut and beaches were deserted. The few restaurants left open were rationing food.

Long lines formed at the airport of Lombok's main town as foreign visitors cut their holidays short.

"There are no flights and the airport looks like mayhem", she said.

A GoFundMe campaign was started to help Fiona and her partner Ondrej, originally from Bratislavia, Slovakia, "get back on their feet" and to rebuild their home.

"I tried to move my leg, lift it up, and that's when I realised it was broken", the 49-year-old, who goes by one name, told AFP from a stretcher outside a hospital in Mataram.

Montgomery-Lay said she was in touch with the Canadian Consulate in Jakarta, but she was told there was nothing they could do at that point.


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