Death toll in devastating Indonesian quake rises to 345 overnight

Elias Hubbard
August 9, 2018

The official death toll stands at 131, but local media are reporting figures as high as 347.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Wednesday the information from the Antara sources was incomplete and had not been cross-checked for duplication.

He said victims can be counted several times because of the common practice of people in Indonesia using several names and noted that families of victims are entitled to financial compensation from the government when a death is confirmed.

"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.

Authorities have said the death toll, 105 as of Tuesday evening, would increase as the search effort continues.

Sunday's natural disaster triggered at least 230 aftershocks, which were expected to continue for the next two weeks.

Lombok is a roughly 4,500 sq km (1,700 sq miles) island east of the slightly larger island of Bali.

Almost 1,500 people are in hospital with serious injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

This video shows hundreds of people being evacuated from the Gili Islands, an archipelago near northwest Lombok, on Monday, August 6, after the natural disaster.

A man inspects the ruins of houses at a village affected by Sunday's quake in Kayangan, Lombok Island, Indonesia.

The quake killed more than 100 people in Lombok and injured hundreds of others, leaving thousands of locals homeless and tourists stranded.

Thousands of people have been sleeping in makeshift shelters or out in the open.

Meanwhile, the evacuation of thousands of tourists from the Gili Islands - three tiny, coral-fringed tropical islands off the northwest coast of Lombok - has finished, officials said.

"We've lost a lot of bookings and future guests are in wait-and-see mode".

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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