World

Death toll jumps to 347 in Indonesia earthquake

Jakarta : The death toll in the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia's Lombok island on Sunday swelled to 347, according to the state-run Antara news agency.
Indonesia's national disaster agency had last put the death toll figure at 131. As aid has begun to reach the northern parts of the island, which were among the worst hit by the natural calamity, many people are complaining that assistance has not arrived in their areas.
CNN quoted Antara news agency saying that over 120 people lost their lives in Kayangan in northern Lombok. The Indonesian government estimated that around 20,000 people still require help in the affected area and revealed that 80 percent of the buildings have been destroyed.
According to several media reports, hundreds of thousands have been displaced due to the August 5 earthquake, while over 1,000 people sustained injuries and are undergoing medical treatment.
Initially, the Red Cross said that due to the ongoing risk of landslides and debris from the quake, the aid was struggling to reach the northern parts of Lombok island. The international humanitarian organisation stated that it would take some days to know the full impact of the Sunday's earthquake.
"We are still waiting for assessments from some of the more remote areas in the north of the island, but it is already clear that Sunday's earthquake was exceptionally destructive," Christopher Rassi, the head of the assessment team for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said in a statement.
The Red Cross further said that they have evacuated all 2,000 tourists stranded on the Gili Islands, situated near the coast of northwest Lombok Island. The earthquake also affected the nearby tourist island of Bali and widespread damage was also reported as well.
The quake, which was 31 kilometers (19 miles) deep and near Loloan on the north end of Lombok, also triggered a brief tsunami warning. Tremors were also felt in Bali.
The natural disaster, which was the second powerful temblor on Lombok in a week, hit the island in the evening of August 5. All the landline and cell phone services have been reported down in Lombok's Tanjung town, which was the nearest to the epicentre.
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake previously shook the island on July 29, which claimed 17 lives.
Indonesia has been rattled by earthquakes in the past. The country is located in the Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, which is vulnerable to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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