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Red Cross makes appeal as Lombok death toll hits 300

11 August 2018

A powerful 5.9-magnitude aftershock has struck Indonesia's Lombok Island just four days after a 6.9-magnitude quake.

Sunday's natural disaster triggered at least 230 aftershocks, which were expected to continue for the next two weeks.

The governor of the province that includes Lombok where the quake was centered, the military, the national search and rescue agency and regent of North Lombok issued different death tolls that ranged from 226 to 381.

"The quakes have left hospitals crowded with around 1,500 injured, and thousands of displaced are living in temporary shelters, or in the rubble of homes", he says.

On Sunday, a powerful 6.9-magnitude quake devastated the tourist island, which has led to the deaths of at least 347 as of Thursday, according to the state-run Antara news agency.

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State-run news agency Antara reported overnight 347 had been killed by the quake, but Nugroho said the tally was incomplete and unverified.

And in late July, another 6.4-magnitude quake in Lombok killed 16 people and damaged hundreds of houses.

The Thursday quake destroyed buildings and caused more injuries, according to several reports.

Earthquakes continue to rock the eastern Indonesia island of Lombok with more than 340 people reportedly dead, while poor infrastructure is frustrating efforts to get relief to isolated communities in the centre and highlands of the island. "They do not have a water supply and not enough food", Tasman told AFP, after visiting Karang Bajo village in the island's north. "Children are the most vulnerable".

But national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told the BBC that only 259 deaths had been verified. "We can buy our needs while waiting for the situation to get back to normal even though we're still anxious". He said the death toll is still expected to increase.

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The aftershock comes after Sunday's devastating 6.9-magnitude natural disaster, which relief agencies said had wiped out entire villages in the worst-hit regions of northern and western Lombok.

Makeshift medical facilities have been set up to treat the injured.

Thousands of tourists have also left Lombok since Sunday, fearing further earthquakes, some on extra flights provided by airlines and others on ferries to the neighbouring island of Bali.

He said: "People are always saying they need water and tarps".

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

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Red Cross makes appeal as Lombok death toll hits 300