Indonesia earthquake: Death toll jumps to 387

More than 387,000 people displaced as scientists say quake lifted tourist island of Lombok as much as 25 centimetres.

    Indonesia earthquake: Death toll jumps to 387
    A humanitarian crisis looms on Lombok as tens of thousands are in need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter [Beawiharta/Reuters]

    The death toll from the major earthquake that hammered the Indonesian island of Lombok rose to 387 on Saturday.

    The 6.9-magnitude quake last Sunday injured more than 13,000 people, left more than 387,000 people displaced, and damaged thousands of buildings.

    "It's predicted the death toll will continue to grow because there are still victims who are suspected of being buried by landslides and under rubble, and there are victims that have not been recorded and reported," national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

    Most deaths occurred in the north of Lombok, where 334 people died and more than 200,000 people were forced out of damaged homes. 

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    According to Sutopo, the emergency response period has been extended another 14 days.

    "The main problem is the distribution of supplies to thousands of refugee points," he said. "Most of the roads in north Lombok were damaged by the earthquake."

    Fears over continuing aftershocks persist in Lombok, with 450 having been registered since Sunday.

    A humanitarian crisis is looming with hundreds of thousands left homeless and in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter.

    Earthquake-prone region

    According to scientists from NASA and the California Institute of Technology's rapid-imaging project, the earthquake lifted the island as much as 25 centimetres in some areas. In other places, the ground dropped five-15cm.

    NASA said satellite observations can help authorities respond to earthquakes and other natural or man-made disasters.

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

    In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a massive tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries across the Indian Ocean.

    Troubled times for Indonesia

    Frost Over the World

    Troubled times for Indonesia

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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