Indonesia raises Lombok island earthquake toll to 460

Jakarta: Indonesian authorities on Wednesday raised the death toll in a devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Lombok Island to 460, as search and rescue efforts continued.

The toll was expected to rise further as emergency services continued to look for victims buried by landslides or under the rubble of collapsed buildings following the August 5 quake, said National Agency for Disaster Management spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Almost 1,000 people remained hospitalized, he was cited as saying by Efe news.

At least 417,000 people have been displaced by the temblor, which damaged almost 72,000 homes, 671 schools, 52 health centres and 128 religious sites.

Sutopo urged the country’s business community and the rest of society to collaborate in the reconstruction process, expected to last up to two years.

The estimated economic damages went up to 7.45 trillion Indonesian rupiah ($509 million).

The island has suffered hundreds of aftershocks since the 6.9-degree earthquake, some of them as strong as a magnitude 5.9 that shook the region on August 9.

Lombok, located next to the Flores Thrust, on July 29 had already suffered the impact of another 6.4-magnitude quake that left 16 dead, 355 injured and 1,500 buildings damaged.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activities, where some 7,000 earthquakes, mostly moderate, are recorded each year.