Indonesia quake: Operation underway to rescue thousands of tourists

Woman rescued from rubble of deadly quake on Indonesia's Lombok

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with much-needed supplies have now arrived in Lombok.

A total of 236 people were injured in the quake and majority were hit by falling debris and blocks of concrete, spokesman of the national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Salama, 52, was at a prayer class in the mosque of Karangpangsor village when the 6.9-magnitude quake struck the tropical holiday island on Sunday evening, killing more than 100 people and leaving thousands homeless as buildings collapsed.

"First we used our hands to clear the debris, then hammers, chisels and machines to slowly remove the pieces", Marcos Eric, a volunteer rescue worker from a mining company, told Reuters after an ambulance had taken the woman away.

Of the fatalities, 78 were in northern Lombok, where around 42,000 houses and buildings collapsed.

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There has been little government relief for the area, where the greatest need is for water and food, as underground water sources have been blocked by the quake and shops destroyed or abandoned.

On Wednesday, rescue workers with heavy machinery resumed searching through the rubble of homes, schools and mosques with hope of finding any survivors was fading. "But they're working too slowly", said Masin, the brother-in-law, as ambulances passed by, sirens wailing.

"The body is pinned underneath. We are waiting for heavier equipment", said Teddy Aditya, an official of the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency. We know how hard his family is suffering", Titus said.

Rescuers are still struggling to get to parts of Lombok island to assess the full extent of the damage from the natural disaster.

The remaining casualties were reported in western Lombok (24), in the east (19), in Mataram - the largest city on the island (6) - in the centre (2) and on the neighbouring island of Bali (2).

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All tourists in Indonesia's quake-stricken resort island of Lombok, including 39 Chinese citizens, had been evacuated to safe areas by late Monday, according to China's consulate general in Denpasar, Bali. Some tourists set up camp on beaches, in Lombok airport, or stayed in hotel lobbies. "It was a nightmare in my life".

David Beckham and his family were present during an natural disaster in Bali, where at least 142 people were killed on Sunday evening.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In 2014, a devastating tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea quake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

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