Lombok quake: Rescuers search collapsed mosque for survivors

Rescue workers are searching the ruins of a mosque in Lombok, Indonesia, where it is feared people were trapped by Sunday's deadly earthquake.

The 6.9 magnitude quake is now known to have killed nearly 100 people and left at least 20,000 people homeless.

The mosque is one of thousands of buildings in North Lombok that were damaged.

Two have already been rescued from the rubble, according to the national search and rescue agency.

The spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shared footage of one man being brought out from under the collapsed building.

The impact of Sunday's quake has been far greater than a quake that hit Lombok last week, killing 16 people.

The official death toll now stands at 98, but officials believe that may rise. Most of the victims were killed by falling debris.

Aid agencies have said their priority now is to provide shelter for displaced people, with aftershocks continuing to rattle the area.

In Lombok's main city of Mataram, medical staff there have been struggling to cope with the injured in damaged hospitals. They have resorted to treating people in the open air.

Phillipa Hodge was at the Katamaran Hotel just north of Mataram when the quake hit. She told the BBC the lights went out and the scene "became chaotic".

"People were falling over each other trying to get out, and glass was shattering. We felt debris fall on to us.

"I couldn't see my partner and I was shouting his name. Finally we found each other and he had blood all over his face and shirt."

'They are panicking'

Buildings in Bali were also left damaged by the earthquake and at least two people are known to have died there.

Meanwhile search and rescue teams have rescued at least 2,000 people from the Gili Islands, three islands just off the north-west coast of Lombok which are popular with backpackers and divers.

Videos and images from the Gilis show hundreds of tourists crowded on beaches waiting to board small boats.

Lombok quake, rescuers, search survivors, homeless

On Gili Air, one of three islands that make up the Gili islands, crowds of tourists had waited to be evacuated -- Photo: BAIQ DIAN


"It's understandable they want to leave the Gilis, they are panicking," Muhammad Faozal, the head of the tourism agency in West Nusa Tenggara province had earlier told AFP.

President Joko Widodo has urged the speedy evacuation of casualties, calling for more flights to be sent to the affected areas.

The earthquake on Sunday was of magnitude 6.9, according to the US Geological Survey.

Lombok quake, rescuers, search survivors, homeless

It struck at 19:46 local time (11:46 GMT) at a fairly shallow depth of 31km (19 miles).

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

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.

More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

Source: BBC

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