Lombok natural disaster: Days after quake strikes, the injured and stricken await treatment


A strong natural disaster with a magnitude of 6.2 hit Indonesia's Lombok island on Thursday (Aug 9), causing some buildings to collapse, according to witnesses and the Southeast Asian nation's meteorology and geophysics agency.

Lombok was hit by three big quakes in little more than a week. The powerful quake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing a number of people and shaking neighboring Bali, as authorities on Monday said thousands of houses were damaged and the death toll could climb.

An aerial view of the collapsed Jamiul Jamaah mosque where rescue workers and soldiers search for quake victims in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia on August 8, 2018.

The death toll from a huge 6.9 magnitude natural disaster in Indonesia's Lombok island has climbed to more than 320, officials said on Friday, even as relief efforts picked up the pace.

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State-run news agency Antara reported overnight 347 had been killed by the quake, but Nugroho said the tally was incomplete and unverified.

Survivors of the quake have also been shaken by hundreds of aftershocks, including a shallow 5.9-magnitude quake Thursday which caused people to flee evacuation shelters crying and screaming.

Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok was struck by a 7-magnitude quake on August 5.

Almost a week since the 7.0 quake, Lombok is still reeling but glimmers of normality were returning for some and devout villagers are making plans for temporary replacements of mosques that were flattened. But her experience underscores the challenges facing this region: Four days after the natural disaster killed hundreds and displaced 270,000 more, injured survivors in remote areas cut off by landslides and broken bridges are still emerging.

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West Nusa Tenggara Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi and National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) both announced the same number on Wednesday, which was 226, but the local command base of the Indonesian Military (TNI) cited 381 deaths on the same day. The quake split apart roads near the coast and sparked landslides that cut off routes used by emergency medical workers and rescue crews who are still trying to clear rubble and recover the dead.

Officials said about three-quarters of Lombok's rural north had been without electricity since Sunday, although power had since been restored in most areas before the aftershock.

Spokesman Arifin Hadi said people need clean water and tarpaulins most of all.

"We were stuck in traffic while delivering aid, suddenly it felt like our vehicle was hit from behind, it was so strong", witness Sri Laksmi told AFP.

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"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.