UN chief condoles deaths in Indonesia quake

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United Nations, Aug 7 (IANS) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed condolence over the devastating loss of life, injuries and damage caused by the earthquake in Indonesia’s Lombok island.

In a statement on Monday through UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, Guterres extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Indonesia, and wished the injured a quick recovery, Xinhua news agency reported.

He also said the UN stands ready to support ongoing rescue and relief efforts if required.

The 7.0-magnitude quake struck on Sunday with the epicentre about 18 km northwest of Lombok Timur district and 15 km under-earth, and has killed almost 100 people and injured over 200 others.

The temblor was also felt strongly in nearby Bali Island, a famous tourism destination, and East Java province, according to the country’s meteorology and geophysics agency.

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Sunday’s quake worsened the downside risks of another strong quake measured at magnitude 6.4, which struck the island on July 29 and left 17 people dead and over 350 others injured.

Indonesia is prone to quakes as it lies in vulnerable quake-affected areas called the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Also on Monday, UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak said on Twitter that he is following the reports coming out of Indonesia with great concern, and that the rising death toll following the earthquake in Lombok, Bali and other islands is heartbreaking.

He said his thoughts are with the Indonesian government as well as the victims and survivors.

–IANS

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