Lombok hit by second earthquake

Lombok hit by second earthquake

Lombok has been hit by a strong tremor with a magnitude of 5.9 as the search continues for victims of Sunday’s earthquake.

The latest quake reportedly brought down some buildings.

The earthquake on Sunday, which forced thousands of tourists to evacuate, was “exceptionally destructive”, the Red Cross has said.

Some villages on the Indonesian island had “completely collapsed”.

The official death toll stands at 131 but local media are reporting figures as high as 347.

More than 1,400 people were injured and over 156,000 displaced.

Indonesia’s national disaster agency said all those numbers were likely to increase, as more information comes in and more victims are found.

Aftershocks have also continued to rattle the area – there have been more than 340 since Sunday.

Thousands of tourists visiting Lombok – as well as the nearby Gili Islands and Bali – have been evacuated or have chosen to leave since the weekend.

“We’ve had light earthquakes in the past, but never anything like this,” hotel chain owner Marcel De Rijk told Reuters.

“We’ve lost a lot of bookings and future guests are in wait-and-see mode. I don’t think people will choose Lombok anymore this summer.”

Red Cross official in Lombok, Christopher Rassi told the BBC: “We are still waiting for assessments from some of the more remote areas in the north of the island, but it is already clear that Sunday’s earthquake was exceptionally destructive.

“I visited villages yesterday that were completely collapsed,” he said, while other teams in east and north Lombok had reported villages where 75% of homes were damaged.

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

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all but essential travel to the Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – off the north-west coast of Lombok.

“Following the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in the region on 5 August, there is a risk of aftershocks, which could cause further damage to buildings and pose risks to safety,” the FCO warned.

“In the event of serious injury, access to immediate medical assistance on the islands is extremely limited.

“If you’re in an affected area, you should exercise caution, monitor local media, liaise with your travel company, hotel or guesthouse and follow the advice of the local authorities.

“Where possible, keep your family and friends up to date with your situation.”

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