Terrified Tourists Flee Gili Islands After Lombok Earthquake

Terrified Tourists Flee Gili Islands After Lombok Earthquake

Terrified Tourists Flee Gili Islands After Lombok Earthquake

Some 4,600 tourists have been evacuated from the Gili Islands, three tiny, coral-fringed tropical islands that lie off the northwest coast of Lombok and are popular with backpackers and divers.

A Canadian family that was trapped in Indonesia following a deadly quake has made it off the island of Lombok safely.

Rescuers resumed their search for survivors‚ and started the recovery of bodies in the rubble of houses‚ mosques and schools after the most recent quake.

At Lombok's airport, dozens of tourists slept on the floor as they waited for flights off the island. The death toll is expected to rise.

Thousands of people made homeless by a powerful natural disaster on Indonesian resort islands looked for shelter Monday night as rescue workers continued to search for the missing and said the death toll of 98 would likely rise. The quake was powerful enough to damage buildings 93 miles away in Denpasar on the island of Bali.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll from the magnitude-7 quake that struck the island on Sunday evening has risen from 91 to 98, including two deaths in Bali and 236 injured. While many tourists are flooding Indonesia's ferry terminals and airports in the hopes of finding a way back home, Montgomery-Lay and her husband are concerned about the effect it would have on their daughter, who has cancer.

Emergency crews are working through the wreckage of a collapsed mosque in the northern village of Lading-Lading, where authorities fear a number of people are trapped.

Local authorities, global relief groups and the central government have begun organising 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. All but two of were killed on Lombok; the others died on Bali. So many people are starting to get sick because they have been sleeping outside from the first quake incident [on July 29].

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

Mr Riduan, a 45-year-old man whose house was partially destroyed, said he had bought food himself. "He had no chance to scream (for) help". Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones. "Gili Air has run out of food and water so they have come to us", she messaged, adding later that she had been taken on a boat to the main island and would go on to Bali. "All the locals were frantically running and screaming, putting on lifejackets". On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried the injured on stretchers and carpets.

But the rescuers and heavy equipment were, "very much needed elsewhere, so we made a decision to shift the operation" to other locations, Mr Supartana said. The warning was lifted after only small waves were recorded. "Many of us screamed hysterically".

"They have not been touched by any assistance", Nguroho said.

"We really want to stay here to help the villagers", he said.

West Nusa Tenggara provincial governor Zainul Majdi told The Straits Times on Tuesday that they are deploying excavators and heavy equipment to the affected areas. "It was just a lot of panic because no one knew what was happening".

Rescuers found victims under wrecked buildings, while thousands were left homeless in the worst-affected areas.

In addition, thousands of houses have been damaged, and according to news reports around 10,000 have been evacuated from the island.

So far, up to 2,700 tourists have been moved from the Gili Island.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.

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