Indonesia's Lombok natural disaster: Hundreds trapped on mountain


Currently, a rescue operation is underway to save those trapped tourists in landslides on Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on the Lombok island.

Authorities said more than 500 people, mostly foreign tourists, have already come down from the mountain but 266 are still trapped up there.

One of the two bodies recovered by rescuers yesterday was that of climber Muhammad Ainul Muksin, 26, who died in a landslide during the quake.

The natural disaster was centred on the northern part of Lombok but was also felt on the resort island of Bali to the west.

Kathryn's aunt Victoria Toas said: 'They actually believed the volcano was erupting until they spoke to us and we told them it was an quake.

A rescue team was escorting six other trekkers down from Lake Segara Anak near Rinjani's summit.

Some returned with harrowing tales of being caught out by the quake, which killed 16 people across the holiday island including one on the mountain.

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The final six hikers were brought down from the mountain Tuesday morning, confirmed National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, following a massive combined rescue effort involving nearly 200 Indonesian police, military and medical personnel.

Joko Widodo, the Indonesian President, visited Lombok on Monday morning to meet with various villages who have been impacted by the natural disaster.

They could not be admitted to the local public clinic, known as Puskesmas, due to fears that the building may collapse from aftershocks.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck early on Sunday not far from the base of the mountain.

The initial tremor was followed by two strong secondary quakes and more than 100 aftershocks.

In 2004, a tsunami caused by an natural disaster of magnitude 9.3 on the Richter scale, left 220,000 dead in several countries of the Indian Ocean, of which 168,000 were Indonesians.