Thousands left homeless, at least 98 dead after quake on Indonesian island

Thousands left homeless, at least 98 dead after quake on Indonesian island

The death toll from a powerful quake on the Indonesian island of Lombok rose to 105 on Tuesday as rescuers clawed through the rubble of homes, schools and mosques for survivors and evacuees faced another night in the open.

On Sunday, June 6, Indonesia was struck by an quake of 7.0 magnitude that has killed more than 90 people and damaged thousands of buildings.

"Thousands. are under open skies in need of drinking water, food, medical supplies, and clothes", it said in a statement.

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with much-needed food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks have now arrived in Lombok.

Indonesian authorities said Monday that rescuers still haven't reached some devastated parts of the tourist island of Lombok after the powerful quake flattened houses and toppled bridges, killing a large number of people and shaking neighboring Bali.

The national disaster agency's spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had risen to 131 from 105 announced Tuesday.

Nugroho told a news briefing on Monday some areas there were cut off after bridges collapsed.

The death toll is expected to rise to about 140 as rescuers are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas where houses, schools and mosques have been reduced to rubble. Thousands of homes and buildings were damaged and those displaced camped wherever they could - in sports fields and on roadsides, cobbling together ramshackle shelters and building campfires for warmth. "We have also asked private companies, construction companies to help by deploying their heavy equipment to participate (in the rescue efforts)", the governor said.

Most of the tourist resorts are located on the southern side of the island. Amid collapsed homes, most hotels seemed to have shut and beaches were deserted.

The island was further rattled by a magnitude 5.2 quake.

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A 6.9 magnitude natural disaster has hit Indonesia, killing at least 98 people, injuring 269 and leaving 20,000 others reportedly homeless.

The Straits Times saw an excavator digging through the rubble of the mosque as anxious villagers looked on, hoping that people were still alive under the ruins.

A woman was pulled alive on Tuesday from under a collapsed grocery store in the rural north of Lombok, near the epicentre of Sunday's 6.9 magnitude quake.

His wife Maude, 44, said the family was on Bali for the first quake and Lombok for the second.

Officials said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where fears of a tsunami had spread soon after the quake.

"We are cutting short our holiday because I can't walk and we're just not in the mood anymore", said the 26-year-old, sitting on a trolley at the airport with his leg bandaged.

Around 200,000 people live in northern Lombok and the government estimates 20,000 people are in need of assistance, with around 80 percent of buildings destroyed.

The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating on Sunday night, according to the director general of civil aviation.

Lombok lies on the Ring of Fire, a belt surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is especially prone to earthquakes and volcanoes.

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