Indonesia natural disaster death toll rises to more than 345

Indonesia natural disaster death toll rises to more than 345

Saffron Amis, a British student on Gili Trawangan - the largest of the islands fringed by white beaches and surrounded by turquoise sea - said at least 200 people were stranded there with more flowing in from the other two, Gili Air and Gili Meno.

"There are 700 more tourists still waiting to be evacuated", he added.

Lombok has suffered two earthquakes now in as many weeks.

"We're forced to deal with broken bones in the traditional way at home because the hospital had to deal with hundreds of other injuries", said Budhiawan, the head of Lading-Lading village.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told The Associated Press that the damage was "massive" in northern Lombok, where the quake was centred, and that more than half the homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

Priva Bell, the Indonesia Response Team Coordinator at Mercy Corps, told Euronews: "We already know that many people have lost access to water, and are in need of shelter".

Water, which has been in short supply due to a prolonged dry spell on the island, as well as food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks.

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

Global charity Oxfam said drinking water was scarce because of a recent spell of extremely dry weather in Lombok.

"We were glad to be able to get on the boats".

Concerns had been raised for around 20 people on the island of Gili but they have since been located.

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In a statement issued by Ndivhuwo Mabaya, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said "at this stage" it was aware of five South Africans that were present in the affected area during the quake.

Tourists and Gili residents alike were seeking to leave the islands, according to Indonesia's search and rescue agency.

This was the second deadly quake in a week to strike Lombok.

"I can't imagine what it was like for the people who were up where it really happened [the epicentre], it would be just bad".

Evacuees in some encampments say they are running out of food, while others are suffering psychological trauma after the 6.9-magnitude quake, which struck just one week after another tremor surged through the island and killed 17.

Oxfam's local project manager in Lombok, Meili Narti, said there needed to better coordination of aid efforts between the government and the military. BNPB said 18 extra flights had been added for leaving tourists.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.

At least 4,600 foreign and Indonesian tourists also have been evacuated from three smaller islands off Lombok's coast so far, Mr Nugroho said.

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.

The Bali and Lombok airports have remained open.

"A lot of people are displaced, and many have migrated to the hilly and mountainous areas because of fear of a tsunami".

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