Death Toll Rises to 256 in Indonesia Earthquake
By Faith Magbanua, August 10, 2018 23:08 PM
Amidst rescue efforts, the death toll from a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, August 5, 2018 has risen to 259 and may go higher still, officials say.
The region has been hit by more than 350 aftershocks, the worst of which struck on Thursday, August 9, 2018.
The latest quake had a magnitude of 5.9 or 6.2, according to monitors and it took down some buildings.
Rescue workers are still digging through rubble and trying to get aid to survivors of the earlier, larger quake.
On the other hand, reports concerning the death toll has been given by the officials saying: "This number will continue increasing as rescue teams continue to find victims under collapsed buildings."
Indonesia's chief security minister had earlier said 319 people had died, while local media have reported figures as high as 347; but, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told the BBC that only 259 deaths had been verified.
In addition, reports from the Red Cross are saying that Sunday's incident was "exceptionally destructive", some villages had "completely collapsed", said a Red Cross official in Lombok, Christopher Rassi.
The government says that more than 1,400 people were injured and more than 270,000 displaced.
The new quake the on Thursday hit off the north-west coast of Lombok, sending people running into the streets in panic. Meanwhile, no tsunami warning was issued.
The quake struck at 19:46 local time (11:46 GMT) on Sunday at a fairly shallow depth of 31km (19 miles).
Indonesia being prone to earthquakes is caused by its position lying 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.
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