Mosque rescue efforts after Lombok quake

The green-domed mosque in North Lombok has now been reduced to rubble

The green-domed mosque in North Lombok has now been reduced to rubble

Rescue workers are searching the ruins of a mosque in Lombok, Indonesia, where it is feared people were trapped by Sunday’s deadly earthquake.

The 6.9 magnitude quake is now known to have killed nearly 100 people and left at least 20,000 people homeless.

The mosque is one of thousands of buildings in North Lombok that were damaged.

Two people have already been rescued from the rubble, according to the national search and rescue agency.

The earthquake struck on Sunday amid evening prayers. One witness told news agency AFP there may have been as many as 50 people in Jabal Nur mosque in Lading-Lading village at the time.

“Our imam ran, so the others followed,” 53-year-old Kelana said.

At least three crushed bodies have already been retrieved from the rubble.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said many sandals were found in front of the mosque, raising fears that more victims could be found.

 

He shared footage of one man being brought out from under the collapsed building.

Lombok is a roughly 4,500 sq km (1,700 sq miles) island east of the slightly larger island of Bali.

 

The impact of Sunday’s quake has far exceeded that of another which hit Lombok last week, killing 16 people.

The official death toll now stands at 98, but officials believe that may rise. Most of the victims were killed by falling debris.

Aid agencies have said their priority now is to provide shelter for displaced people, as aftershocks continue to rattle the area.

In Lombok’s main city of Mataram, medical staff has been struggling to cope with the injured in damaged hospitals. They have resorted to treating people in the open air.

But the Indonesian Red Cross said there had been one “blessing” amid the disaster. Its volunteers helped a 38-year-old woman give birth at a temporary health station on Monday. One of the names she gave her baby was “Gempa”, which means earthquake in Indonesian.

Phillipa Hodge was at the Katamaran Hotel just north of Mataram when the quake hit. She told the BBC the lights went out and the scene “became chaotic”.

“People were falling over each other trying to get out, and glass was shattering. We felt debris fall on to us.

“I couldn’t see my partner and I was shouting his name. Finally we found each other and he had blood all over his face and shirt.” -BBC

 

 

 

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