Death toll hits 131 and 20,000 are homeless after second earthquake hits Indonesia

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit the popular Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday (5 August) is now known to have killed at least 131 people and has left approximately 20,000 homeless.

Rescue efforts the day after centred on a mosque (pictured), reduced to rubble, where it is believed around 50 people were attending evening prayers when the quake struck.

At least three crushed bodies have already been retrieved from the rubble, reports the BBC.

Hundreds of tourists crowd onto the beach at the small island of Gill for evacuation after the quake (BASARNAS/Creative Commons)

Thousands of other buildings in North Lombok have been damaged. Aid agencies are trying to organise shelter for displaced people as aftershocks continue, presenting further risks for standing structures.

On 6 August an operation was underway to evacuate an estimated 4,000 backpackers and tourists on small islands around Lombok, where there were scenes of people crowded onto beaches awaiting small boats, Dunkirk-style.

It is the second quake to hit Lombok in eight days. An earlier one of 6.4 magnitude struck on 29 August, killing 20.

Doctors and nurses in Lombok’s main city, Mataram, have been struggling to cope with the injured in damaged hospitals, and have resorted to treating people outside, reported the BBC.

Indonesian Red Cross workers and volunteers helped care for hundreds needing treatment for injuries from falling debris (Indonesian Red Cross)

Officials believe the death toll of those killed by falling debris may rise.

One tourist, Phillipa Hodge was at the Katamaran Hotel north of Mataram when the quake hit. She told the BBC the lights went out and the scene "became chaotic".

"People were falling over each other trying to get out, and glass was shattering. We felt debris fall on to us.

"I couldn’t see my partner and I was shouting his name. Finally we found each other and he had blood all over his face and shirt."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaking to islanders made homeless after the 29 August quake (Cabinet Secretariat of Indonesia/Creative Commons)

Buildings on the neighbouring island of Bali were also damaged and at least two people are known to have died there.

After the earlier quake, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the area to speak to islanders made homeless. Now, he has called for more flights to be sent to the affected areas.

Indonesia lies on the Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles much of the Pacific rim.

  • Death toll updated 14.45, 8 August

Top image: Indonesia’s national rescue agency, BASARNAS, uses heavy equipment to search for survivors under a collapsed mosque in Lading-Lading, North Lombok on 6 August 2018 (BASARNAS/Creative Commons)

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