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Hunt on for survivors as Indonesia's quake toll climbs to 131

Hunt on for survivors as Indonesia's quake toll climbs to 131

The majority of fatalities occurred in the worst-affected North Lombok Regency, with many victims dying after becoming buried under debris from collapsed homes, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"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.

On Wednesday, the rescue workers using heavy equipment have resumed search for survivors in the mosque, now reduced to a pile of concrete and metal bars, with its towering green dome folded in on itself. It said clean drinking water was scarce because of a recent spell of extremely dry weather in Lombok.

There has been little government relief for the area, where the greatest need is for water and food, as underground water sources have been blocked by the quake and shops destroyed or abandoned.

More than 200 people were seriously injured in Sunday's shallow quake as rescue workers scrambled to reach survivors in remote areas. "But they're working too slowly", said Masin, the brother-in-law, as ambulances passed by, sirens wailing. They had already used saws to cut a square out of the slab but could not find the body.

He said that vessels involved in the joint operation to evacuate foreign tourists have transported them to Bangsal and Bali ports and the operation also provides shuttle buses to hotels in downtown capital city of Mataram. We know how hard his family is suffering", Titus said.

Apart from that, tourism recovery in Lombok may take three to six months due to damages in tourism infrastructure and accommodations following the powerful natural disaster, he said.

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French tourist Laurent Smadja, who had been on Gilli Meno, the smallest of the three islands, described scenes of chaos and confusion in the aftermath of the quake as holidaymakers jostled to leave. Although the tremors were not as greatly felt in Bali, two people have been confirmed dead and many buildings have been destroyed.

"We slept in a bungalow until another quake hit us at midnight and then we moved to the beach", she said.

Lombok airport's general manager said airlines had laid on extra flights and that his staff had been providing stranded passengers with blankets and snacks. "It was a nightmare in my life".

But it was Lombok which bore the brunt of Sunday evening's quake.

"I got talking with a local and he explained how Indonesia is in the "ring of fire" and therefore prone to earthquakes".

In 2014, a devastating tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea natural disaster off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.


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