Lombok earthquake

Lombok quake death toll set to rise as rescue efforts widen

Rescue workers found chaos and destruction across the Indonesian resort island of Lombok on Monday after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake killed at least 91 people and prompted an exodus of tourists rattled by the second powerful quake in a week.
Above: Patients sleeping at the lobby of the provincial hospital in Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday to facilitate evacuation if there are tremors. Left: Foreign tourists, with their luggage in tow, making their way past dam
Foreign tourists, with their luggage in tow, making their way past damaged buildings yesterday in Pemenang, North Lombok. PHOTO: REUTERS
Above: Patients sleeping at the lobby of the provincial hospital in Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday to facilitate evacuation if there are tremors. Left: Foreign tourists, with their luggage in tow, making their way past dam
Patients sleeping at the lobby of the provincial hospital in Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday to facilitate evacuation if there are tremors. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Above: Patients sleeping at the lobby of the provincial hospital in Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday to facilitate evacuation if there are tremors. Left: Foreign tourists, with their luggage in tow, making their way past dam
A woman injured during the earthquake walking outside the North Lombok Hospital in Tanjung yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Above: Patients sleeping at the lobby of the provincial hospital in Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday to facilitate evacuation if there are tremors. Left: Foreign tourists, with their luggage in tow, making their way past dam
Hundreds of people seeking to leave Gili Trawangan, north of the neighbouring Lombok Island, yesterday, a day after the magnitude-7 quake struck the area. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Over 20,000 displaced across island; emergency declared for West Nusa Tenggara province

More than 20,000 people have been displaced across Indonesia's resort island of Lombok following a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake that hit West Nusa Tenggara on Sunday evening, killing nearly 100 people and injuring more than 230.

The tremor was powerful enough to jolt the neighbouring island of Bali, where at least two people died.

National disaster management agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a press conference yesterday that no foreigners were among the 98 dead.

But he said that the toll is expected to rise as officials are still collecting data, and the rubble from over 13,000 flattened and damaged houses is being cleared away.

"Officers from a joint search and rescue team have yet to reach all areas in Lombok, particularly the most heavily damaged area," he said, referring to North Lombok Regency, home to famous tourist destinations Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno.

As of yesterday, about 20,000 people had been moved to unaffected areas of Lombok, according to BNPB. Also, as of yesterday afternoon, around 2,700 tourists had been evacuated from the three Gilis, or islands.

Indonesia has declared an emergency status for West Nusa Tenggara province until Saturday, Mr Sutopo said.

A damaged home in Pemenang, North Lombok, in Indonesia following Sunday's magnitude-7 earthquake. Indonesians on the resort island of Lombok began returning to their destroyed homes yesterday, after the powerful quake killed at least 98, including tw
Lombok quake death toll rises to nearly 100: A damaged home in Pemenang, North Lombok, in Indonesia following Sunday's magnitude-7 earthquake. Indonesians on the resort island of Lombok began returning to their destroyed homes yesterday, after the powerful quake killed at least 98, including two people in nearby Bali, and injured more than 230 others. The military sent three planes to Lombok carrying medicine, logistics and other supplies yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

He said electricity in the most affected areas of North Lombok Regency and East Lombok Regency had been cut off, telecommunications networks were not working and three bridges had been damaged.

These were hindering the evacuation process, he added.

Mr Nyoman Siang, a spokesman for Lombok International Airport, said it added five flights last night to accommodate the exodus of passengers who wanted to leave Lombok earlier. To optimise flights, Lombok airport started operating 24 hours from yesterday, and will continue round-the-clock operations until Thursday.

 
 
 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered his aides to focus on providing disaster relief in West Nusa Tenggara province.

Speaking to the media yesterday afternoon after visiting an Asian Games venue in East Jakarta, Mr Joko said he has instructed Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto to coordinate search and rescue efforts by the armed forces and national police.

"This is so that we can handle immediately the evacuation of the dead and injured victims, as well as the logistics, among others," Mr Joko said.

"There are also many tourists, so I have ordered the Coordinating Minister (for Political, Legal and Security Affairs) to deal with them well."

Last night, Ms Ina Ripken, a German tourist, told The Straits Times that she feels safer staying at the Lombok airport and has decided to spend the next two nights there.

The high school graduate, who is travelling alone, had arrived in Lombok from Bali half an hour before the quake struck at 6.46pm local time on Sunday. She had arrived in Bali on July 29, six hours before the earlier quake struck Lombok.

"We went ahead by bus after Sunday's quake towards the north to enjoy the beach but, on the way, people told us that the north was destroyed. So, we turned back towards Mataram city... We slept outside the Aston hotel," she said. Mataram is the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province.

The hospital in North Lombok was badly damaged by the quake, so patients have been transferred to hospitals in Mataram.

Dr Mohammad Rizki, a local pathologist, told ST last night that two hospital ships had been dispatched to Lombok.

"My colleagues have been doing back-to-back surgery since morning. Most cases involved head injuries and broken bones. The whole West Nusa Tenggara province has only two neurosurgeons and not many orthopaedic surgeons. More neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons from Surabaya, Jakarta, Makassar and Yogyakarta are coming to Mataram today."

Lombok had been hit earlier on July 29 by a magnitude-6.4 quake that killed 17 people and left several hundred trekkers stranded on the slopes of the Mount Rinjani volcano.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'Lombok quake death toll set to rise as rescue efforts widen'. Print Edition | Subscribe