Lombok natural disaster: Victims 'buried alive' as number of dead rises to 131


Indonesia sent rescuers fanning out across the holiday island of Lombok and evacuated more than 2,000 tourists after a powerful quake killed at least 98 people and damaged thousands of buildings.

"People were literally fighting and pulling on each other to get on the boat and throwing them into the water", she said, adding how some locals were even trying to charge tourists to take them to the main land. Lisa Stratton, a Facebook spokesperson further explained to Motherboard that they have since turned off the feature locally, and said that their "hearts go out to the people affected by the quake".

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) put the toll at 105, including two on the neighboring island of Bali to the west, where the quake was also felt - and the figure was expected to rise.

Some roads are blocked or hard to navigate making it challenging to reach all of the communities in need of assistance.

The military said it would send a ship with medical aid, supplies and logistics support.

That's because the region sits smack-dab along the so-called ring of fire-an imaginary, horseshoe-shape line that follows the rim of the Pacific Ocean and marks spots where several tectonic plates collide.

Officials said more than 2000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili islands, where fears of another tsunami spread.

Tens of thousands were left homeless when the ground shook for the second time in two weeks. There is simply no way of knowing how many are dead or dying, placing enormous pressure on the rescue effort.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was dining at a restaurant on the 12th floor of a Lombok hotel when the quake struck.

A boy with a heavily bandaged leg wailed in pain, an elderly man wore a splint improvised from strips of cardboard on a broken arm, and some hurt by falling debris still had dried blood on their faces.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by a shortage of heavy-lifting equipment such as excavators, as hundreds of aftershocks continued to shake the island following Sunday's magnitude-7 natural disaster.

A July 29 quake killed 16 people and damaged hundreds of houses, some of which collapsed in Sunday evening's temblor, killing those inside.

A woman was pulled alive on Tuesday from under a grocery store that fell apart in the rural north of the tropical holiday island, near the epicenter of Sunday's quake.

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Nugroho told a news conference damage was "massive" in the north of Lombok.

"We have yet to ask for help from the global (community)".

The Australian government is one of several countries to have offered assistance to Indonesia, but Mr Sotopo said Indonesia "does not need worldwide assistance at the moment".

Search and rescue activities are ongoing.

The worldwide charity Oxfam said drinking water was scarce because of a recent spell of extremely dry weather in Lombok.

Their hotel was demolished; they slept on the beach.

"There are only a few tourists left here". BNPB said 18 extra flights had been added for leaving tourists.

A GoFundMe campaign was started to help Fiona and her partner Ondrej, originally from Bratislavia, Slovakia, "get back on their feet" and to rebuild their home.

Sahril, who uses one name, said he escaped his collapsing house in North Lombok with his immediate family, but his older brother is buried in his flattened home in the village of Cubek.

Immigration authorities said seven foreigners were injured in the quake and are being treated in hospital.

"This is it for me in Indonesia".

"We were sitting there having dinner at about 7 o'clock last night, we just felt a really big sort of shaking and the lights went off and everyone just ran", Australian tourist Kim Liebelt said as he waited with other travelers for a flight out at Lombok's worldwide airport.