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Indonesia's Lombok hit by another strong quake

09 August 2018

A 5.9 magnitude natural disaster hit the Indonesian island of Lombok Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey, an area already struggling to recover from a massive quake that hit Sunday.

A 5.9-magnitude quake aftershock struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of Lombok Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, even as relief agencies raced to find survivors among the wreckage from Sunday's quake.

Nyoman Sidekarya, chief of the provincial search and rescue agency that covers Lombok, told The Associated Press that the death toll from Sunday's magnitude 7.0 quake is now 227.

Buildings still standing on the island have been weakened after Sunday's quake.

The national disaster agency has said all those numbers are likely to increase, as more information comes in and more victims are found.

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"Evacuees and people ran out of houses when they felt the strong shake of the 6.2 magnitude quake".

Most of the displaced are sleeping under tents or tarpaulins near their ruined homes or in evacuation shelters that are short of food, clean water and medical help.

Both seismic events struck in Lombok's north, a more residential and less developed part of the island than the resort-filled south. More than 1,000 schools have been damaged, the organization said. Some villages have collapsed entirely.

The island was still recovering after two other recent earthquakes when the tremor happened. The announcement came after an inter-agency meeting was called to resolve wildly different figures from various government offices.

Wiranto, who goes by one name, said the government will develop a plan to rebuild communities on Lombok, which like its more famous neighbor Bali is a popular tourist destination with powder white beaches, mountains and a lush interior.

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He says, "People are always saying they need water and tarps".

The Indonesian Red Cross said it had set up 10 mobile clinics in the north of the island.

"We lack the infrastructure to perform operations because (they) need to be performed in a sterile place", Wibowo told AFP.

One aid agency, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, has warned that thousands of children have been left homeless, forced to sleep in open fields without warm clothing or blankets.

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