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10 killed in multiple quakes in Indonesia’s Lombok island, relief efforts stepped up

Holiday island is already reeling from two devastating quakes on July 29 and August 5.

world Updated: Aug 20, 2018 12:51 IST
Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
AFP, Mataram
Lombok,Lombok earthquake,Indonesia earthquake
Patients and their family relatives stay at a makeshift hospital ward in Mataram on Indonesia's Lombok island on August 20, 2018.(AFP)

At least 10 people were killed by strong tremors that rocked Indonesia’s holiday island of Lombok on Sunday, authorities said following the latest in a series of earthquakes that killed hundreds and forced thousands to flee their homes in recent weeks.

Nearly 500 people have died in quakes and aftershocks since July 29 across the northern coast of the island, which lies just east of Indonesia’s top tourist destination, Bali.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at the national disaster mitigation agency, said on Monday relief and reconstruction efforts had been “intensified”.

“The rebuilding of public facilities like hospitals and schools is being speeded up,” he said.

He said more than 100 aftershocks had been recorded since Sunday night’s magnitude 6.9 quake, which sent panicked residents into the streets and cut power and communication lines across the island.

A crack emerges on a road at Kayangan Port after an earthquake hit Lombok, Indonesia, August 20, 2018. (REUTERS)

Sunday’s quake came exactly a fortnight after another 6.9 magnitude earthquake which killed around 460 people and prompted massive search, rescue and relief efforts.

Authorities estimate that the Aug.5 earthquake caused 5 trillion rupiah ($342 million) of damage on Lombok.

Hundreds of thousands of residents have been left homeless and are camped out in open fields, refusing to shelter indoors due to continuing tremors.

Aid organisations like Save The Children said they were “ready to scale up their humanitarian response”.

“The population feels like it’s had the rug pulled from under them with this new quake,” said Caroline Haga, humanitarian & emergency communications specialist with the Red Cross.

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 10:07 IST