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12 Indian tourists stranded in quake-hit Indonesia

The tourists — 10 from the north Bengal city of Siliguri and two from Mumbai and Amritsar — had just touched the shore at Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia when the earth shook on Sunday evening.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2018 17:43 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
Indian tourists in quake-hit Indonesia,Indian tourists in Indonesia,Indonesia earthquake
Tourists affected by a strong earthquake line up on a beach as they wait to be evacuated on Gili Trawangan Island, Indonesia, Monday. (AP Photo )

Twelve Indian tourists of a family were stranded on an island in quake-hit Indonesia and had to spend Sunday night without food and water. They are safe and unharmed, according to a relative.

The tourists — 10 from the north Bengal city of Siliguri and two of their relatives from Mumbai and Amritsar — had just touched the shore at Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia when the earth shook on Sunday evening.

“We had just touched the shore after reaching the island in a speedboat from Bali when the earth shook under our feet,” said Neekita Jain over phone.

“The aftershocks in intervals of 5-10 minutes heightened the panic,” she said, adding that they did not go into the hotel considering the risk. “We were apprehending that the structures made of earth may collapse any time.”

More than 40 aftershocks, following the quake recording 6.9 on the Richter scale, were registered on the island.

According to reports, the powerful earthquake that struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killed at least 91 people and injured more than 200 even as rescuers were struggling to reach some of the worst-hit areas.

The Jains were just 15 km away from the epicentre of the quake, said Bharat Bhusan Rakhecha, a relative.

Back at their home in Siliguri, Neekita’s father Bhojraj Jain, a businessman, said, “I could speak with my daughter only hours after the disaster. Though all the 12 people including my grandson are safe, their ordeal is beyond description.”

The Jains had gone on a vacation to Indonesia from August 3 and were to return on August 8.

The tourists said that the speedboat that ferried them to the island was also abandoned by its crew after the first tremor.

Neekita, who is accompanying her elder brother Shreyansh, his wife Bhagyasree and son Aadityaraj, wants to come back at the earliest.

The consulate general in Bali said the evacuation of Indians from the Gili islands was “almost complete”.

Earlier, the consulate had asked Indian tourists to not panic and follow safety instructions from local authorities.

Gili Trawangan is a popular holiday destination considered suitable for families.

First Published: Aug 06, 2018 17:43 IST