Death toll rises to 259 from Sunday's quake in Indonesia's Lombok island

Howard TerryAug 11, 2018

An aerial view of the collapsed Jamiul Jamaah mosque where rescue workers and soldiers search for quake victims in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia on August 8, 2018.

Scientists say the powerful Indonesian natural disaster that killed almost 400 people lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimetres (10 inches). The Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics said that yesterday's aftershock, one of the more than 300 registered by that entity, was the strongest one, although it did not have to activate the tsunami warning.

It was the strongest of some 355 aftershocks that have rattled the island since Sunday, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Aid workers are trying to help the thousands of people who have been left homeless and without clean water, food, medicine or shelter.

Water - which has been in short supply due to a prolonged dry spell - as well as food and medical supplies have also been distributed from trucks.

He said: "People are always saying they need water and tarps".

"My house was flattened".

"I don't know how to rebuild on my own". "I'm very anxious, we need help here".

"I had to borrow money from someone to buy morning glory to be resold here", said Natbudi, one of the market vendors.

For residents of Lombok and surrounding islands, many saw their homes destroyed, with the collapse of roofs and walls causing the majority of casualties from the quake.

With the support of telecommunication access and internet from Net1, shelters around the disaster area can be an information hub to update informations related to the disaster, including the possibility to find people who separated from their family.

Authorities said they feared the mosque - now reduced to a pile of concrete and metal bars, its towering green dome folded in on itself - had been filled with worshippers.

Thousands of tourists visiting Lombok - as well as the nearby Gili Islands and Bali - have been evacuated or have chosen to leave since the weekend.

Shivaya Reo, mother of Natalie Jameson, says her daughter and fiancee had finally made it to safety in Bali. Depths ranged from ten kilometres (about 6.2 miles) to 200 kilometres (124 miles).

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

While exchanging messages on Facebook about the quake, many Indonesian speakers used the word "selamat", which has several meanings including "safe", "unhurt" or "congratulations" depending on the context.

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