Death toll rises to 131 in Indonesian quake


'The children, especially, were a little bit shaken but they are all fine. Their thoughts are obviously with the victims, ' a source told The Sun.

Newsmen report that a magnitude-7.0 natural disaster struck right along the coast of the Indonesian island of Lombok, near Loloan village Sunday night.

A woman was pulled alive on Tuesday from under a collapsed grocery store in the rural north of Lombok, near the epicenter of Sunday's 6.9 magnitude quake.

Tourist boats started to arrive in the morning to transport the injured and others trapped on the Gili Islands to Lombok.

The geophysics agency had issued a tsunami warning after the quake struck at 7.46 p.m. local time but it was lifted nearly two hours later after the agency detected low rising tides.

Indonesian authorities said Monday that rescuers still haven't reached some devastated parts of the tourist island of Lombok after a powerful quake flattened houses and toppled bridges, killing a number of people and shaking neighboring Bali.

The death toll since the 6.9 magnitude quake on Sunday has reached 98, including two on the neighboring island of Bali, and officials expect it to rise.

Rescuers have found three bodies and also managed to pull one man alive from the twisted wreckage of the mosque, reduced to a pile of concrete and metal bars, with its towering green dome folded in on itself.

"You're safe, mister", says one of the soldiers as emotion overcomes the saved man and villagers crowd around him.

National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a press conference in Jakarta yesterday that at least 105 people have died, including two in neighbouring Bali, while 236 others have been injured.

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The roads in the jungle leading to northern Lombok were treacherous and badly damaged in the quake, which is likely to hamper aid efforts, said Endri Susanto, who runs a nongovernmental organization assisting with relief efforts.

The global charity Oxfam said drinking water was scarce because of a recent spell of extremely dry weather in Lombok.

The authorities have appealed for more medical personnel and basic supplies.

On Gili Trawangan, one of three popular vacation islands near Lombok, thousands of tourists and residents spent Sunday night on a hill because of tsunami fears, said British visitor Saffron Amis.

But the rescuers and heavy equipment were "very much needed elsewhere, so we made a decision to shift the operation" to other locations.

However, the social network told news site Motherboard: "We regret that it appeared in this unfortunate context and have since turned off the feature locally".

There are now 737 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Indonesia and 28 registered in Lombok. It's hard for help to reach them. Thousands of people are now trying to get off the island, she said, describing the mood as both sombre and panicked.

"The quake hit and all the buildings were falling down, we ran to a hill then spent the night there with no communication on what was going on".

'Once it stopped our hotel host returned and explained he was at the grocery where everyone was screaming and running out'.

Hundreds of tired tourists continued to arrive with their baggage at Bangsal harbour, the main link between Lombok and the Gilis, today.