08/09/2018, 13.58
INDONESIA
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A 6.2 quake hits Lombok Island again, death toll rises

The Indonesian island continues to shake. According to military sources, the death toll now stands at 381, plus 165,000 displaced persons. Medical facilities for the wounded are inadequate and food for survivors is in short supply. The National Disaster Management Authority has appealed for international aid.

Mataram (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Lombok Island was hit by another quake this morning, one measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale.

On Sunday, a 7.0 tremor had struck the island, leaving more than 150,000 people homeless, forced to camp on roadsides and in rice fields.

People in improvised tent camps say they are running out of food. More than 1,400 injured people are still waiting for medical care.

The number of casualties is still uncertain. The National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) is still tallying up the figures. As of Wednesday, it said that 164 people had died.

West Nusa Tenggara Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) gave the same number on Wednesday, 226 dead. Indonesian military sources put the death toll at 381.

“We still need long-term aid, even though we have already received help from various [regional] governments,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

For now, “corpses are starting to smell and we believe some people buried are still alive – that’s why it’s a critical time,” Nugroho added.

Rescue workers are still looking for survivors under collapsed houses, schools or mosques. Because of bad roads, they cannot easily reach the most affected mountain areas.

“In some villages we visited the destruction was almost 100 per cent – all houses collapsed, roads are cracked and bridges were broken,” said Arifin Muhammad Hadi, a spokesman for the Indonesian Red Cross.

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks had arrived in Lombok.

But some evacuees have complained of the slow pace of rescue operations. “There has been no help at all here,” said 36-year-old Multazam, staying with hundreds of others under tarpaulins on a dry paddy field outside West Pemenang village.

“We have no clean water, so if we want to go to the toilet we use a small river nearby,” he added.

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