Indonesia quake deaths top 130, aid effort intensifies


SENGGIGI, Indonesia Thousands left homeless by a powerful quake that ruptured roads and flattened buildings on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok sheltered Monday night in makeshift tents as authorities said rescuers hadn't yet reached all devastated areas and expect the toll of 98 dead to climb.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told reporters Monday that most of those killed and injured were on the northern side of Lombok, which sustained massive damage.

That quake, on July 29, killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

As rescuers in Indonesia search for survivors of a pair of deadly earthquakes, Edmonton's small Indonesian community is searching for ways to support the relief effort.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire, " an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean Basin.

It had previously been reported that as many as 142 people had died in the quake, but the latest confirmed number is closer to 100.

The situation is also being worsened by continued aftershocks....

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Some roads are blocked or hard to navigate making it challenging to reach all of the communities in need of assistance.

"We can help tourists to get to the airport but of course we can't buy them tickets for free", he said, adding that authorities were providing free accommodation, food and transport to those in need. "It becomes apparent that they don't have the infrastructure to handle this kind of thing, so perhaps people will evaluate that in the future".

Montgomery-Lay said they have reached out to the Canadian Consulate, but were told there was nothing officials could do to help them yet.

"Only this morning were we courageous enough to come down".

Aid agency Oxfam said it was providing water and shelters to 5,000 survivors, but the needs were much greater.

Mr Zainul said there was an urgent need for medical staff, food and medicine in the worst-hit areas.

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

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In village after village in the north of the island, houses lie in ruins, crushed by their rooves and abandoned by their walls.

"Our little paradise island that we have called home has taken a hit and the foundation of our island and its businesses, which are the local people, have taken the biggest hit of all".

Early in the morning they heard a weak voice coming from under the pile of bricks and mangled steel bars of a two-storey mosque in Pemenang, where four people were believed to have been trapped.

"We are looking for access".

Hundreds of tourists slept at Lombok Airport waiting for the first chance to leave.

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

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