Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Death toll jumps to 347 in 6.9 Indonesia natural disaster

A Facebook algorithm reportedly misinterpreted the Indonesian word “selamat,” triggering inappropriate animations Imam continues to lead prayer as huge earthquake rocks Bali mosque
Jeannette Daniel | 09 August, 2018, 03:54

The death toll from the devasting natural disaster on the Indonesian island of Lombok has risen to 347, according to Government-run Antara news agency.

The governor of the province that includes Lombok where the quake was centred, the military, the national search and rescue agency and regent of North Lombok issued different death tolls that ranged from 226 to 381.

An imam continued to pray and lead worshippers while a huge quake tore through the mosque in the Indonesian resort of Bali, eliciting praises from every corner of the internet as the video of the incident went viral on social media.

"We don't know for sure how many people are alive under the rubble", BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters.

He has said several times that the number of deaths will increase.

Aid began reaching isolated areas of the Indonesian island struggling after a powerful quake, while rescuers doubled down on efforts to find the dead, pulling another body from the rubble. Water, food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks.

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks had arrived in Lombok.

Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless following Sunday's shake. We're all relying on the government to help.

More news: Margot Kidder's Death Ruled Suicidal Overdose

"There has been no help at all here", said 36-year-old Multazam, staying with hundreds of others under tarpaulins on a dry paddy field outside West Pemenang village.

Almost 2,500 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries and more than 156,000 people are displaced due to the extensive damage to homes.

A woman's body was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed mosque on Wednesday morning in Bangsal district in the north of the island.

Authorities said all the tourists who wanted to be evacuated from three outlying vacation islands due to power blackouts and damage to hotels had left by boat, some 5,000 people in all. "Then finally you see on Facebook that they are ok - and then you see balloons", she said.

Local authorities, global relief groups and the central government have begun organizing aid, but shattered roads have slowed efforts to reach survivors in the mountainous north and east of Lombok, which bore the brunt of the quake.

A humanitarian crisis looms in Lombok, which was rocked by another deadly quake last month that killed 17 people, with thousands of victims of Sunday's disaster in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter, aid agencies say.

Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

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