Death toll in Indonesia quake rises to 164

Death toll in Indonesia quake rises to 164

The natural disaster which hit Indonesia's Lombok island on Sunday evening killed at least 347 people, and officials say the death toll is likely to increase.

Rescuers search Karang Pangsor mosque after the quake last weekend.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that at least 131 people were killed in Sunday's quake, but other agencies say the death toll has risen to more than 300.

The US Geological survey reported a 5.2-magnitude natural disaster just off the coast of Lombok between the tourist town of Senggigi and the Gili Islands on Monday at 11.50pm.

Officials said the quake's epicenter was on land and so there was no risk of a tsunami.

Nyoman Sidekarya, chief of the provincial search and rescue agency that covers Lombok, told The Associated Press that the death toll from Sunday's magnitude 7.0 quake is now 227.

Both seismic events struck in Lombok's north, a more residential and less developed part of the island than the resort-filled south.

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

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Another Indonesian government agency has put the figure at 381, a significant increase from figure of 131 reported on Wednesday.

The Red Cross said it was focusing relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people yet to get any assistance.

A humanitarian crisis is also looming in Lombok, where thousands have been left homeless and in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter.

Still, government assistance was barely a trickle in the west Lombok village of Kekait where Zulas Triani, an elementary school teacher who was sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small ration of water.

The Red Cross has said that incident, which killed at least 131 people, was "exceptionally destructive".

A July 29 quake on Lombok killed 16 people.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

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