Aftershock rocks Lombok in Indonesia as death toll rises


Facebook has been forced to apologise after users posting about Sunday's deadly natural disaster on the Indonesian island of Lombok saw their messages trigger animations of celebratory balloons and confetti.

The official toll from the original quake on Sunday is at 164, but other government agencies have offered estimates of up to twice as much.

Kan Hyeong-woo has the latest.

The death toll from a devastating quake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has risen above 160, an official said on Thursday, as authorities urgently appealed for medicine, food and clean water for some 156,000 people displaced by the disaster.

The 5.9-magnitude quake on Thursday struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of the island, the US Geological Survey said, even as relief agencies raced to find survivors among wreckage from Sunday's quake. The aftershock had caused more "trauma", said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been hit by a strong tremor, as the search continues for victims of Sunday's natural disaster. The agency says it is has not verified these other figures but expects the toll to climb.

Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.

The death toll from the Lombok natural disaster has risen dramatically to 347, the government-run news agency Antara has said.

It was the third big quake to hit Lombok in little over a week.

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He said his agency is "still verifying the correctness of the data".

Most people live in basic housing in small communities.

He said the agency has sent 20 water vehicles to five remote areas, including one village of about 1,200 households.

Other evacuees said they were subsisting on a diet of instant noodles and needed clean water and bedding.

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.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross said Tuesday all of the 2,000 tourists on the Gili Islands had now been evacuated.

"Then the side pillar cracked and snapped, like a lumberjack breaking wood with his bare hands", said Mr Tahar, describing to The New Paper yesterday how part of the building had collapsed.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.