Hikers start descent of Indonesia volcano after quake

2018-07-30 21:42

Groups of hikers began to pick their way down the slopes of a Lombok volcano on Monday after a deadly earthquake triggered landslides that trapped more than 500 tourists and guides on the mountain.

Tonnes of rock and mud were dislodged on Mount Rinjani in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck early on Sunday and was followed by scores of aftershocks, blocking the hiking routes that crisscross the mountain.

Around 560 people were estimated to be trapped on Rinjani overnight, including citizens from the United States, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Germany, as well as many other countries, search and rescue officials said.

Search and rescue officials said tourists had now started to descend the active volcano but were unlikely to arrive at its base before nightfall.

"At the moment both domestic and international tourists are on their way down," I Gusti Lanang Wiswananda, a spokesman for West Nusa Tenggara search and rescue, told AFP.

Hikers were able to start descending the mountain after guides discovered an alternate route that was unaffected by the landslides, Wiswananda said, adding the evacuation will most likely stretch into Tuesday.

Hundreds of other hikers managed to get off the mountain on Sunday, according to officials.

At least 16 people were killed in the earthquake across affected areas of Lombok, while hundreds of buildings were destroyed including a health clinic.

The quake created panic on the holiday island and sent locals and tourists running outside their homes and hotels.

Helicopters and search teams were deployed to scour the volcano's slopes and drop food supplies for those stranded on the mountain.

The search will be halted at sunset, search and rescue officials said.

"For supplies, they can still survive for another one to two days," Agus Hendra Sanjaya, spokesperson for Mataram's search and rescue agency, told AFP.

Rising some 3 726m above sea level, Rinjani is the second-tallest volcano in Indonesia and a favourite among sightseers keen to take in its expansive views.

Hiking trails on the mountain were closed following the quake due to fear of further landslides.

Thailand's embassy in Jakarta said 239 of its citizens were stuck in the area surrounding the mountain.

Thai national Thanapon Worawutchainan, who was at the summit when the earthquake occurred, posted a video on Facebook showing people stumbling down the slopes in the aftermath.

He said the ground shook violently and people lay down until the tremors stopped.

"It looked like the mountain in front of me was going to collapse," another stranded Thai, Funknathee Prapasawat, said on Facebook. "Some people were injured by rocks falling off the mountain."

The epicentre of the earthquake was 50km northeast of Lombok's main city Mataram, the United States Geological Survey said, far from the main tourist spots on the south and west of the island.

The initial tremor was followed by two strong secondary quakes and more than 100 aftershocks.

The jolt was felt some 100km away on the bustling resort island of Bali, although there were no reports of damage there.

In the hard hit village of Medas, north of Mataram, the majority of houses were destroyed and the area was deserted on Monday save for a few people searching for possessions in the rubble, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Thousands displaced

Some 160 people were injured in Lombok as a result of the quake, said Mohammad Rum, head of West Nusa Tenggara disaster agency.

A Malaysian was among the dead, with another six citizens injured, the foreign ministry in Kuala Lumpur said.

A total of 5 141 people are staying in temporary shelters and in need of clean water, Indonesian disaster mitigation agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told MetroTV.

Rinjawani Pebolaisia, an evacuee at a shelter in East Lombok, said they were lacking basic supplies.

"We hope that aid will arrive quickly – there are only instant noodles here," Pebolaisia, 30, told AFP.

"We also need milk for the children, diapers, there are also no blankets... Many people are sleeping outside."

President Joko Widodo visited affected areas on Monday and promised financial support for those who have lost their homes.

"We must be aware that our country is in the Ring of Fire, so people need to be prepared to face any disaster," Widodo said.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220 000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168 000 in Indonesia.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    indonesia  |  earthquake

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.