UAE expats escape death during Indonesia quake

Crack in the ground and rescue workers

Crack in the ground and rescue workers

Reports said the 6.9-magnitude quake which struck the Indonesian tourist islands of Lombok on Sunday killed almost 100 people and left at least 20 000 others homeless.

The military said five planes carrying food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers left the capital, Jakarta, for the island early on Wednesday.

Rescue team members and soldiers try to find people who are trapped inside a mosque after an natural disaster hit on Sunday in Pemenang, Lombok Island, Indonesia.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there are reports of other deaths but they still need to be verified.

Two days after the quake, rescuers were still struggling to reach all the affected areas and authorities expected the death toll to rise.

More than 20,000 people have reportedly been displaced from their homes.

"On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, we expressed our honest condolences to the government and people of Indonesia on the quake that occurred in that country".

He and his family had briefly returned to their homes, he said, to claim the food and water they could but that was now running out.

"Thousands more, tourists and hotel workers, are still in the process of being evacuated out of the three island", the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said in a statement on Monday evening.

Oxfam said it was providing clean drinking water and tarpaulin shelter sheets to 5000 people and planned to intensify aid delivery.

Among other major buildings to collapse were a health clinic, government offices and other public facilities, he added.

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Officials said most of the victims were killed by falling rubble, and more than 200 people have been seriously injured.

Rescuers dug through the rubble of a mosque on Wednesday where an unknown number of people were suspected buried.

"We are cutting short our holiday because I can't walk and we're just not in the mood anymore", said the 26-year-old, sitting on a trolley at the airport with his leg bandaged.

Nugroho added that all 2,700 foreign and domestic tourists have been evacuated from Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, the three tourist islets off the northwestern coast of Lombok after nine boats were deployed to transport them to the mainland.

His wife Maude, 44, said the family was on Bali for the first quake and Lombok for the second.

"We're forced to deal with broken bones in the traditional way at home because the hospital had to deal with hundreds of other injuries", village head Budhiawan said.

Lombok, which is located east of Bali and makes up part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain, is a popular tourist destination known for mountains, beaches and surf.

The shocks Sunday followed a 6.4 -magnitude quake on July 29, leaving emergency crews to deal with the fallout of two massive disasters just seven days apart.

The Bali and Lombok airports have remained open.

That's because the region sits smack-dab along the so-called ring of fire-an imaginary, horseshoe-shape line that follows the rim of the Pacific Ocean and marks spots where several tectonic plates collide.

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