JAKARTA – The death toll in the magnitude-6.9 earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok over the weekend has climbed to 259, the country’s authorities said on Thursday.
National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho had also tweeted that following the quake, 1,033 people have been hospitalized, while 270,168 have been displaced.
Search and rescue teams on Thursday were trying to find survivors under the rubble of thousands of buildings when another magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck the northwestern part of Lombok.
The quake had caused panic with people on the roads abandoning their vehicles, rushing out of their homes and had damaged some buildings, Sutopo had said in an earlier tweet.
The United States Geological Survey, which records seismic activity around the world, said the hypocenter of the quake was located at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and 23 km from Mataram, the capital of the province.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s meteorology agency said the tremor had a magnitude of 6.2 and a depth of 12 km.
Lombok, which is located near the tourist island of Bali, has experienced over 350 aftershocks since the 6.9-magnitude quake struck the island on Sunday and led to the evacuation of thousands of foreign tourists from the island.
On July 29, another magnitude-6.4 earthquake had hit Lombok and left 16 people dead, 355 injured and destroyed 1,500 buildings.
The Indonesian archipelago is situated along the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area known for its intense seismic and volcanic activities, which records around 7,000, mostly moderate, earthquakes each year.