Tanjung (Indonesia), Aug 7 (IANS) The death toll in the 6.9 magnitude Indonesia earthquake climbed to 105 on Tuesday while rescue teams continued to search for survivors under the rubble.
The earthquake shook Lombok Island over the weekend. Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that among the dead, 78 were from the northern Lombok regency, 15 from western Lombok, four from Mataram, three from eastern Lombok, two from central Lombok and two from Bali’s capital Denpasar.
About 236 people were reported to be injured and 20,000 people displaced by the disaster. Thousands of houses were damaged, CNN reported.
All the 105 people killed were Indonesians, while the injured included seven foreigners — one each from Denmark, the US, the UK, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and South Korea, according to Efe news.
Sutopo said that the death toll was expected to rise as the search operations continued, mainly in the most affected regions of northern and eastern Lombok.
Thousands of tourists were being gradually evacuated from Lombok on boats or delayed flights taking off from Mataram’s international airport where many foreigners spent the night in the terminal and in corridors.
Some 7,000 tourists were evacuated from the popular Gili archipelago — which includes the islands Air, Meno and Trawangan — off the coast of northeast Lombok, near the epicentre of the earthquake, which was followed by 250 aftershocks.
Faik Fahmi, director of Angkasa Pura, the company that operates the airport on Lombok, said there were about 1,000 people staying overnight at the airport and that they were going to increase traffic so travellers can reach their destinations, including Bali and Jakarta.
On Monday, many flights to and from the island were cancelled and others delayed. Lombok, dominated by the Rinjani volcano, is located east of Bali, Indonesia’s main tourist destination.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity that experiences about 7,000 tremors a year, mostly moderate.
The devastation came exactly a week after the region was hit by a 6.4 magnitude quake that left at least 15 people dead and 162 injured.