BANGSAL, Indonesia – Villagers in Bangsal on the Indonesian island of Lombok were braving more aftershocks on Friday as they combed through the rubble of their collapsed homes following a huge earthquake days earlier.
Clear-up work was underway as men and women sifted through the rubble to the sound of a muezzin chanting the call to prayer in this Muslim-majority nation.
While residents rummaged through the remains of their houses, others wept for those who lost their lives in Sunday’s tremor and the hundreds of aftershocks that have followed.
Groups of locals were seen quietly praying by the roadside, backdropped by rows of devastated dwellings and commercial buildings.
A magnitude-6.9 quake struck the island on Sunday, killed at least 259 people, while 1,033 people were hospitalized, and 270,168 displaced, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
The BNPB said on Friday morning that while aftershocks “continued to occur,” they were less intense than those on previous days.
Police and rescue workers were assisting locals in clearing debris and trying to keep their spirits as high as possible, leading children in group play activities, the journalist added.