Death toll in Indonesia quake rises to 164

Lamar Ellis
August 9, 2018

Officials said about three-quarters of Lombok's rural north had been without electricity since Sunday, although power had since been restored in most areas.

Rescue efforts have intensified to find people buried in rubble following the natural disaster that shook Indonesia's Lombok island.

Indonesia's disaster agency says the death toll from the quake that shook Lombok island Sunday evening has risen to 131. Panicked residents fled into the streets, witnesses said.

Evacuees in some encampments say they are running out of food, while others are suffering psychological trauma after the powerful quake, which struck just one week after another tremor surged through the island and killed 17.

But other government agencies are putting out conflicting information that suggests the actual figure could rise to as many as 381, while local media has reported 347 people have been killed.

Volunteers and rescue personnel were erecting more temporary shelters for the over 80,000 people left homeless on Lombok by the magnitude 7.0 quake on Sunday evening.

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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.

Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and mosques were levelled by the quake, which struck on Sunday.

Water, which has been in short supply due to a prolonged dry spell on the island, as well as food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks. "Where should we go if we have no house anymore, nowhere to live?" said the mother of 15- and 9-year-old girls.

A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

Workers with heavy machinery are searching the rubble of homes, schools and mosques, with hope of finding any survivors fading.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

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