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Indonesia hit by powerful aftershock days after 319 died in quake

10 August 2018

The death toll from a powerful natural disaster that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok is climbing, and could reach 400, according to an independent Indonesian news service.

A magnitude-6.2 natural disaster occurred onshore on the northern part of Lombok Island in West Nusa Tenggara on Thursday afternoon (09/08), while the search for victims of Sunday's deadly quake continues.

The death toll from the 6.9-magnitude quake has risen to 347, and is expected to be higher once all the bodies can be counted, according to the state-run Antara news agency.

No further information was available at the time of writing.

The damage from the three consecutive quakes is apparently severe, with nearly 15-hundred injured and more than 150-thousand displaced.

Along the coastline in North Lombok, Mr Masahiro Ishizeki and Mr Zhofry Hamid were on the way to support relief distribution operations with their local partners when they saw people running around.

The Indonesian Red Cross is focusing relief efforts on the northern areas of Lombok where aid has not yet reached.

Reuters has reported collapsed buildings and widespread damage, likely compounding fresh damage from quakes which have already devastated the island this month. Some villages have collapsed entirely.

Thousands of tourists have left Lombok since Sunday, fearing further earthquakes, some on extra flights provided by airlines and others on ferries to the neighboring island of Bali. Tens of thousands are now sleeping out in the open or in the ruins of their homes.

"It is already clear that Sunday's natural disaster was exceptionally destructive", Christopher Rassi, the head of a Red Cross assessment team on Lombok, said in a statement.

Sunday's quake came only days after a slightly smaller one, which killed at least 16 people.

A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

"Then the side pillar cracked and snapped, like a lumberjack breaking wood with his bare hands", said Mr Tahar, describing to The New Paper yesterday how part of the building had collapsed.

Authorities said all the tourists who wanted to be evacuated from three outlying vacation islands due to power blackouts and damage to hotels had left by boat, some 5,000 people in all.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

Indonesia hit by powerful aftershock days after 319 died in quake