Nyoman Sidekarya, chief of the provincial search and rescue agency that covers the Indonesian island of Lombok, tells The Associated Press that the death toll from the earthquake that hit the island on Sunday is now 227.
Several agencies have been releasing higher death toll figures than the 131 announced on Wednesday by National Disaster Mitigation Agency, which has a coordinating role in disaster relief. The agency says it has not verified these other figures but expects the toll to climb.
Lombok was hit by another earthquake on Thursday, the third in little over a week, causing panic and damage to buildings.
A strong aftershock has shaken the Indonesian island of Lombok where tens of thousands of people are homeless after a powerful earthquake on Sunday.
Indonesia’s geological agency said the quake Thursday afternoon had a magnitude of 6.2 and was shallow, at a depth of 12 kilometers, centered in the northwest of the island. It said it didn’t have the potential to cause a tsunami.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 5.9.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said people ran onto roads in panic and buildings were damaged, causing more “trauma” for people on the island.
It’s the third big quake to hit Lombok in little over a week. Buildings still standing on the island have been weakened after Sunday’s 7.0 quake that killed at least 131 people and a 6.4 quake on July 29 that killed 16.
The Indonesian Red Cross says it’s focusing its Lombok earthquake relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people in remote areas in the north of the island where aid still has not reached.
Spokesman Arifin Hadi says the tens of thousands people left homeless by Sunday’s magnitude 7.0 quake need clean water and tarpaulins most of all. He says the agency has sent 20 water trucks to five remote areas, including one village of about 1,200 households.
He says, “People are always saying they need water and tarps.” He also says they’re continuing to look for people with untreated injuries.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency says at least 131 people have died but other agencies are giving higher much higher figures. The disaster agency says the higher figures are unverified. AP