Thursday, 9 August 2018

Death toll from magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Indonesian island of Lombok rises to 259

The death toll from a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday has risen to 259 and may go higher still, officials say.

The region has been hit by more than 350 aftershocks, the worst of which struck on Thursday.

The latest tremor had a magnitude of 5.9 or 6.2, according to monitors. It brought down some buildings.

Rescue workers are still digging through rubble and trying to get aid to survivors of the earlier, larger quake.

Officials said of the latest death toll: "This number will continue increasing as rescue teams continue to find victims under collapsed buildings."
Indonesia's chief security minister had earlier said 319 people had died, while local media have reported figures as high as 347.

But national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told the BBC that only 259 deaths had been verified.

The Red Cross says that Sunday's incident was "exceptionally destructive".

Some villages had "completely collapsed", said a Red Cross official in Lombok, Christopher Rassi.

The government says more than 1,400 people were injured and more than 270,000 displaced.

The new tremor on Thursday hit off the north-west coast of Lombok, sending people running into the streets in panic. No tsunami warning was issued.

BBC      News.

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