Indonesia quake: Over 700 trekkers, stuck at Mount Rinjani, begin descend

Lamar Ellis
August 9, 2018

Hundreds of tourists stranded on Mount Rinjani on the Indonesian island of Lombok by an quake that killed 16 people and triggered landslides are making their way off the mountain, shaken by their experience but mostly unharmed, an official said Monday.

Tonnes of rock and mud were dislodged on Mount Rinjani in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck early on Sunday and was followed by scores of aftershocks, blocking the hiking routes that crisscross the mountain.

Wiswananda said one Indonesian hiker died on the mountain and a 30-person rescue team was escorting the six remaining trekkers down from Lake Segara Anak, near Rinjani's summit.

TWO British students feared they were going to die when they were caught near the epicentre of an quake while on top of an active volcano.

Evacuation efforts continued Tuesday with rescuers retrieving six more hikers, officials said.

Hundreds of other hikers managed to get off the mountain on Sunday, according to officials.

Villagers walk near destroyed homes in Lombok.

They were stranded since Sunday and officials had deployed several helicopters for search and rescue operations. "After that everybody was rushing down", he told AFP.

The 3,726-metre (12,224-feet) Rinjani is the second-highest volcano in Indonesia and a favourite among sightseers.

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Ali bin Dachlan has also issued a seven-day emergency as his regency was the worst-hit by the shallow magnitude 6.4 quake.

Thai national Thanapon Worawutchainan, who was at the summit when the natural disaster occurred, posted a video on Facebook showing people stumbling down the slopes in the aftermath.

During a visit to the island Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced each damaged property would receive 50 million rupiah ($3468) in aid to help them rebuild, according to state news agency Antara.

"The whole mountain, rocks, fell down - I was a bit afraid", he said.

They could not be admitted to the local public clinic, known as Puskesmas, due to fears that the building may collapse from aftershocks.

Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said there were 203 aftershocks throughout July 29, following the natural disaster.

There have been more than 270 aftershocks after the initial powerful quake.

The natural disaster, which struck the island in West Nusa Tenggara province on Sunday morning, has displaced 10,062 people, whose homes were damaged.

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