Rescue efforts continue after devastating earthquake in Indonesia

8 August 2018

Rescue efforts continue after devastating earthquake in Indonesia

Rescuers are pulling people alive from rubble in Indonesia’s Lombok two days after an earthquake devastated the island.

Thousands have been left homeless in the worst-affected areas as they continue to wait for aid to arrive.

Lombok was hit with an earthquake on Sunday night that reached a 7.0 reading on the Richter scale, causing chaos that left thousands of buildings and homes demolished, along with over 230 people seriously injured.

One of the buildings destroyed included the Jabal Nur mosque in Lading-Lading, where a man was pulled from a space underneath the flattened roof by soldiers.

Another woman was also rescued alive beneath debris in a collapsed grocery store.

Sutopo Purwo Nughoro, the spokesperson for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) has confirmed the death toll is at 105, including two on the island of Bali, which was also hit with the quake.

The figure is expected to rise.

Disaster officials have not yet said how many people they believe are buried beneath rubble in the mosque but the village head, Budhiawan, said it was about 30 based on the unclaimed belongings left outside.

A 66-year-old village elder, Supardi, said the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Lombok a week earlier had caused countless cracks in the mosque’s walls.

He said they were going to be repaired, however people were only just recovering from the last quake, leaving more than half of the village’s 1500 people sleeping outside.

“Nobody expected a stronger quake would occur in such a short amount of time,” said Supardi, who was apparently praying in the mosque when the tremor hit.

Aid organisations have already arrived in Lombok, however their efforts have been hampered due to damage to bridges and roads, a limited amount of rescue equipment and a lack of vehicles, Mr Nughoro said.

He also said that 4,600 foreign and Indonesian tourists have been evacuated from three small islands off Lombok’s coast so far.