Lombok Earthquake Kills Over 400 People

Image credit: The Guardian
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*This article was updated on 14 August, 2018.

Lombok was hit with a second earthquake yesterday, August 5, killing at least 91 people and severely injuring 209 people with a magnitude of 6.9, and death tolls have risen to over 400 a week on, with tremors felt in neighbouring Bali. This is within the same week of a previous earthquake which killed 16 people at the popular tourist location on July 29.

The earthquake hit northern Lombok and struck at a depth of 15km, which triggered a tsunami warning. Tremors were felt as far as Denpasar, along with Bali, where buildings had also collapsed due to the quake. Multiple aftershocks ensued after that, with a magnitude of 5.4. The Gili Islands, another popular tourist spot, weren’t spared either.

Thousands of people were seen fleeing from their homes in Lombok to open spaces for safety purposes. Thousands of houses were destroyed in the quake and Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nuggroho said that most of the deaths occurred in North Lombok district and majority were killed when houses collapsed.

The quake also affected operations at the Bali and Lombok airports, with a half-hour evacuation at Lombok airport when the electricity went off. In the Bali airport, the roof tiles were dislodged, however, flights from the two airports returned to their usual schedule. Many tourist have taken refuge at the Lombok airport, with the airport authorities requesting additional flights to accommodate the high number of tourists wanting to leave the country.

The Indonesian police, military, government agencies, and volunteers were coordinating on emergency and relief efforts, where soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets in Lombok to evacuation centers. Victims were treated outdoors due to damaged hospitals.

Search and rescue missions are still ongoing and the number of deceased is predicted to rise.

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