Lombok natural disaster: Days after quake strikes, the injured and stricken await treatment

Gili islands The three tiny islands are located just off the coast of Lombok

The number of confirmed deaths from an quake that hit the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday has risen to 259 and would rise as more victims are found in the rubble, the disaster mitigation agency said.

It was the third big quake to hit Lombok in little over a week.

A week earlier, on July 29, another magnitude-6.4 quake hit Lombok and left 16 people dead, 355 injured and 1,500 buildings destroyed.

Facebook apologized for animated balloons and confetti appearing when Indonesian speakers posted messages about Sunday's deadly quake on Indonesia's Lombok Island.

Almost three-quarters of residential structures in North Lombok had been destroyed, Sutopo Nugroho, the agency's spokesperson, said. He told the Jakarta Globe that "residents panicked and ran from their shelters" and "several buildings were further damaged".

He said his agency is "still verifying the correctness of the data".

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.

The strong aftershock, measured at magnitude 5.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey, caused panic, damage to buildings, landslides and injuries.

Aid has began reaching isolated areas of the island as rescuers intensified efforts yesterday to find those buried in the rubble.

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The latest quake, which is understood to have struck 20 minutes before the building fell to the ground, claimed at least six fresh casualties and sent the death toll to more than 320.

A young mother who had to flee with her newborn child is one of thousands of survivors from Sunday's deadly natural disaster on the Indonesian island of Lombok desperately waiting for aid to trickle through.

Spokesman of the Indonesia National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that among 200,000 locals in the north of Lombok, 165,000 people were evacuated.

"People are always saying they need water and tarps", he said.

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.

Oxfam said it was providing clean drinking water and tarpaulin shelters to 5000 survivors, but more than 20,000 estimated have been displaced.

Dramatic video tweeted by authorities showed hundreds of people, many believed to be foreign vacationers, crammed onto a beach on the island of Gili Trawangan as evacuation measures got underway.

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