New quake strikes Lombok island

Erika Holt
August 9, 2018

The governor of the province that includes Lombok, the military, the national search and rescue agency and regent of North Lombok issued different death tolls on Wednesday that ranged from 226 to 381.

The 5.9-magnitude quake on Thursday struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of the island, the US Geological Survey said, even as relief agencies raced to find survivors among wreckage from Sunday's quake.

A 7.0 magnitude natural disaster off the Indonesian island of Lombok killed at least 142 people and injured hundreds more on Sunday, August 5.

Almost 1,500 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

Spokesman Arifin Hadi says the tens of thousands people left homeless by Sunday's magnitude 7.0 quake need clean water and tarpaulins most of all.

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.

"In some villages we visited the destruction was nearly 100 percent, all houses collapsed, roads are cracked and bridges were broken", said Arifin Muhammad Hadi, a spokesman for the Indonesian Red Cross.

A Reuters witness said the latest quake sent people into the streets in panic and caused buildings to collapse.

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Across much of the island, a popular tourist destination, once-bustling villages have been turned into virtual ghost towns.

Cleanup and rescue efforts are still continuing on the island, following the previous quakes.

But some evacuees have complained of being ignored or experiencing long delays for supplies to arrive at shelters.

The Indonesian Red Cross said it had set up 10 mobile clinics in the north of the island.

A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

With hospitals and clinics also affected, numerous injured have had to be treated in the open air or in makeshift clinics.

There is a dire need for medical staff and "long-term aid", especially food and medicine in the worst-hit areas, government officials said.

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