Terrified Tourists Flee Gili Islands After Lombok Earthquake

Blanche Robertson
August 9, 2018

The deadly 6.9-magnitude natural disaster hit the Indonesian island on Sunday night, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

As the aid effort stepped up, volunteers and rescue personnel erected more temporary shelters for the tens of thousands left homeless on Lombok by the magnitude 7.0 quake.

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

This is a developing story.

Almost 1,500 people are in hospital with serious injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

He said his agency is "still verifying the correctness of the data".

This video shows hundreds of people being evacuated from the Gili Islands, an archipelago near northwest Lombok, on Monday, August 6, after the natural disaster.

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Some aid agencies have given much higher figures for the toll, but the National Disaster Mitigation Agency says those figures are unverified. The US Geological Survey has the tremor at a magnitude 5.9.

Evacuees at a shelter in northern Lombok's Tanjung district ran out onto the road crying and screaming, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

The earlier earthquakes also left cracks in walls and roofs, making the weakened buildings susceptible to collapse.

Indonesian authorities are appealing for food, clean water and medical help for the more than 156,000 people forced from their homes and 1,477 severely injured and in need of medical care.

Thursday's quake could be felt on Bali, another popular Indonesian resort island west of Lombok. They tended to an elderly woman with an injured face and hips who'd been knocked over by her grandson as they scrambled from their house.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

Thousands of tourists visiting Lombok - as well as the nearby Gili Islands and Bali - have been evacuated or have chosen to leave since the weekend. "Our hearts go out to the people affected by the natural disaster".

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