Death toll from Indonesian earthquake climbs; tourists evacuated

World Today

The death toll from Indonesia’s largest earthquake has risen again. At least 105 are dead, and more than 84,000 have been displaced. Rescue operations and evacuations are ongoing, but inadequate supplies and an electrical blackout are complicating efforts. CGTN’s Silkina Ahluwalia reports.

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Lombok is still reeling from the powerful earthquakes that shook the island.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake brought down buildings and houses, injuring hundreds of people. Lombok was shaken by two earthquakes just within five days of each other. The government is now prioritizing to get proper equipment to dig through the rubble to find any signs of life.

The Indonesian government believes there are still at least 40 people buried under it, but getting them out remains a challenge. Heavy machinery is being brought in to Lombok to quicken the rescue process.

But the teams are not only focusing on the massive debris around the island.

Evacuations are also ongoing to safely transport thousands of tourists out of the holiday islands of Gili, a 15-minute boat ride from Lombok.

“We have used around three boats to evacuate hundreds of tourists,” Bambang Suryo Aji, the operational director of the National Search and Rescue Agency said. “But we also have tourists that are not willing to leave the Gili Islands but we are monitoring them closely to make sure they are safe.”

The government is prioritizing tourists, as many of them have been stranded in Lombok’s International airport for the past couple of days waiting for any assistance to return to their homes.