Lombok earthquake: Hikers trapped on mountain after landslides
[July 30 2018]
More than 200 hikers are trapped on a mountain on the
Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, after a deadly earthquake triggered
landslides which cut off escape routes.
Hundreds of rescue workers are now working to evacuate
them from Mount Rinjani, a popular hiking destination.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck early on Sunday
not far from the base of the mountain.
At least 14 people have died, and more than 160 were
injured in the quake.
Thousands of homes have been damaged and hundreds have
been left homeless as substantial aftershocks rocked Lombok and
neighbouring Bali island.
Houses have been left destroyed after earthquakes in Lombok
A Malaysian tourist who was on a hiking trip to Mount
Rinjani was among those killed. Another young Indonesian hiker was also
killed by falling rocks.
Hikers from France, Thailand, the Netherlands and
Malaysia are among those waiting to be evacuated off Mount Rinjani.
Authorities say more than 500 people, mostly foreign
tourists, have already come down from the mountain but 266 are still
trapped up there. Helicopters are now searching for the stranded.
An earthquake survivor receives medical treatment at a temporary shelter in Lombok
Rinjani, a volcanic mountain, draws hundreds of
thousands of climbers from across the world each year, says BBC
Indonesian editor Rebecca Henschke on the island.
Dramatic footage filmed by guides on the mountain at
the time of the earthquake showed huge landslides near the crater lake.
One tour guide, named as Sukanta, described the
situation of those trapped up on the mountain.
"Some of the people [were at] the lake, because the
location of the lake is in the middle...they cannot go anywhere because
of landslides... They have to stay near the lake," he said.
A group of Malaysian tourists, who have now reached
safety and are due to leave Lombok by plane on Monday had earlier posted
for help on Facebook.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on
the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions
that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.
More than half of the world's active volcanoes above
sea level are part of the ring.
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