Indonesia natural disaster: Quake hits tourist island of Lombok

30 July, 2018, 21:50 | Author: Charlene Valdez
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"We felt aftershocks for two hours after the initial quake, so we're anxious that there could be more damage caused", he said.

At least three people have died in the quake so far, and there are reports of widespread damage and destruction to buildings.

He said Monday about 300 of them had managed to get down the mountain.

The US Embassy in Jakarta tweeted that hiking at Mt Rinjani had been suspended due to landslides and that Bali airport was operating as normal.

Hundreds of rescue workers are now working to evacuate them from Mount Rinjani, a popular hiking destination.

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The dead include a Malaysian citizen, Indonesia's National Disaster Search and Rescue agency said, with casualties in Lombok's northern and eastern districts.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck over the weekend not far from the base of the mountain.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake was 50km (31 miles) north-east of the city of Mataram, in northern Lombok.

There are fears the death toll could still rise, with at least 40 other people, possibly more, said to have been injured.

According to the government data, Mount Rinjani volcano, a popular tourist destination, draws hundreds of thousands of climbers every year.

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Eka Fathurrahman, the police chief in East Lombok, said a Malaysian woman who died was part of a group of 18 Malaysian tourists who had just visited Mount Rinjani when the quake jolted their guest house and toppled a concrete wall.

The natural disaster struck at 6.47am on Sunday (22.47 GMT on Saturday) and was only 4.35 miles deep (7km), a shallow depth that would have amplified its effect.

The Ring of Fire is an area in the Pacific Ocean where the Earth's tectonic plates collide, making it a hotspot for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Videos given to CNN by a Thai trekking group, Trekmania, who were on Rinjani when the natural disaster struck show enormous clouds of dust covering the slopes of the mountain, triggered by the landslides.

Quake survivors receive medical treatment at a temporary shelter in Sembalun, East Lombok, Indonesia.

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Some 200 people from 35 families whose house were damaged or destroyed had pitched tents there.

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