Three dead in quake on Indonesia's Lombok

Indonesia earthquake

Almost 700 trekkers headed down Mount Rinjani on Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok on Monday, a day after a powerful natural disaster of magnitude 6.4 terrified the climbers as boulders tumbled down the slopes of the volcano.

According to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, there were an estimated 820 people on the 3,726 meter (12,224 ft) mountain when the shallow 6.4-magnitude quake struck Sunday morning.

"There are still 560 people trapped", said the head of Rinjani national park.

Rescuers are scrambling to reach hundreds of trekkers stranded on a mountain in Indonesia after a massive natural disaster triggered landslides.

Rescuers were trying to reach a suspected more than 500 people trapped after climbing up the active volcano, according to reports.

The effects, though, could be felt on neighbouring island Bali, which lies to the west and is very popular with tourists.

Eka Fathurrahman, the police chief in East Lombok, said a Malaysian woman who died was part of a group of 18 Malaysian tourists who had just visited Mount Rinjani when the quake jolted their guest house and toppled a concrete wall.

The Lombok natural disaster struck at 6:47am (22:47 GMT on Saturday) and was only 4.35 miles deep (7 km), a shallow depth that would have amplified its effect.

Malaysia's Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, Zamshari Shaharan said the body of Siti Nur Ismawida Ismail, 30, which is now at the Selong Hospital, East Lombok, will be transferred to the General Hospital, West Nusa Tenggara province in Bandar Mataram, before being flown home.

"We jumped out of our beds to avoid anything falling", said a tourist who was woken by the quake.

The island has a booming tourism industry and is known for its beaches and surfing, as well as handsome reefs and sea turtle conservation.

"There were waves in the pools but only for 20 to 30 seconds", he said via telephone.

Located in the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a chain of volcanoes and fault lines, Indonesia is particularly prone to seismic activity.

Around 43 quakes were recorded after the initial 6.4 magnitude tremor.

However, the region remains acutely alert to tremors that might trigger tsunamis.

One Malaysian was killed and six injured, the Malaysian foreign ministry said.

"They calmed down and returned to their room once we explained the quake did not trigger a tsunami, everything is back to normal now", receptionist Ni Nyoman Suwarningsih told AFP.



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