Indonesian Earthquake Rattles Island of Lombok, Direct Relief Extends Support


The proceeds from crafts and rendang, a savoury meat dish, sold at the Indonesian pavilion will go toward supporting thousands of people displaced by the natural disaster.

"All five have been accounted for and are safe‚" Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said Tuesday.

Rescuers on Indonesia's quake-hit island of Lombok dug through the rubble of a mosque on Wednesday, hoping to reach the aunt of a sprinter who became a national hero last month at the under-20 world championships in Finland.

The quake struck as evening prayers were being said across the Muslim-majority island and there are fears that one collapsed mosque in north Lombok had been filled with worshippers. By nightfall they were pulling out, saying other areas, including another collapsed mosque, needed their heavy equipment and workers more urgently.

"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.

Ghozali's assessment of the likely impact on tourism to Lombok was backed by Australian-based Indonesia expert Matthew Busch, a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute, who said the effect of the most recent quake, and another one a week ago, could be severe for the local tourism sector.

MFAT say if family members have concerns about a New Zealand-citizen family member, they should try to contact them directly first, including by social media.

The magnitude 7.0 quake came a week after another quake on Lombok killed 16 people.

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The quake was centered northeast of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok - a popular tourist destination - 15 kilometers under the surface, said the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics.

The second quake in a week to hit Lombok has killed almost 100 people.

In a separate Facebook post, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has set up a counter at Lombok International Airport to provide consular assistance to Singaporeans affected by the recent natural disaster in Lombok.

Evacuation of tourists is underway with 11 boats mobilized, Sutopo told Xinhua in a text message.

On the winding roads running north from the airport, which lead to destroyed villages shadowed by tall palm trees, the disaster's impact was evident. Some held up simple cardboard signs begging for aid as ambulances and other vehicles raced by.

The West Sumatra government has donated one tonne of its most famous culinary export, beef rendang - a slow-cooked coconut curry.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by major temblors. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

"They have not been touched by any assistance", Nguroho said. "One man at the hotel, for example, cooked food for everyone on the island", she said.