Lombok: 98 people killed in earthquake on Indonesian tourist island

Officials in Indonesia say the death toll from a powerful earthquake on the tourist island of Lombok has risen to 98 and will "definitely increase".

It is expected to climb further because rescuers are struggling to reach some areas left devastated by the tremors.

Two of the people who died were in neighbouring Bali at the time of the 7.0 magnitude quake, which has also left more than 200 people with serious injuries and flattened thousands of homes and buildings.

Most of those killed and hurt were hit by falling rubble and 20,000 people are in temporary shelters.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference that the damage in the north of Lombok was "massive", with several districts so badly hit that rescuers cannot access them.

They are coming up against collapsed bridges, electricity blackouts and roads blocked with debris in their bid to search for survivors, although Mr Nugroho has said that the death toll will "definitely increase".

Experts say the shallow nature of the quake added to the damage it caused, with it having struck at a depth of six miles.

Tourists and locals alike were caught up in the disaster on Sunday evening, which came a week after another tremor killed 16 people and injured dozens more on the same island.

Patients had to be evacuated and treated outside a hospital in the main city of Mataram after electricity was knocked out, and shoppers were caught on camera running and screaming as they tried to escape a mall in Bali.

On Gili Trawangan, one of three popular vacation islands near Lombok, thousands of tourists and locals spent the night on a hill fearing a tsunami.

An official warning was issued but was later lifted.

Rosemarie North, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, told Sky News the organisation was providing aid ahead of a second night outdoors for many people.

"The Red Cross is assisting with first aid and getting people to hospital, delivering food and water, and medical supplies to people now spending their second night in the open," she said.

"It's quite a disturbing event. It comes a week after a previous earthquake and some of those buildings damaged in the first earthquake were further destabilised.

"There's also the psychological affect of these aftershocks, the continuing uncertainty, the tsunami alert that was later cancelled - all of these things can have an unsettling effect on people."

British visitor Saffron Amis, from Brighton, said: "There was a lot of screaming and crying, particularly from the locals.

"We spoke to a lot of them and they were panicking about their family in Lombok. It was just a lot of panic because no one knew what was happening."

Katy Flay, from Leeds, was on holiday in the area with her 29-year-old partner Stef, according to her brother Ash.

The 33-year-old had been on the phone as the quake struck.

"It's been an absolute nightmare, I received a phone call from Katy whilst the earthquake was happening, she was distressed - crying and screaming," said Mr Flay.

"All I could hear was crashes, she then called again and said a tsunami warning is out and she's climbed a tree, doesn't know what's happening and then she was un-contactable for two hours.

"Katy climbed up one of the trees and then somebody kicked her out of it so she had to climb another one, and injured her foot when she was running to high ground during the tsunami warning.

"It was the worst two hours of my life."

Helen Brady, 29, a writer from Manchester, said she and boyfriend James Kelsall, 28, had narrowly escaped death or serious injury after the earthquake brought buildings crashing down.

She said: "All the lights went out and most buildings were demolished. If we'd have been one minute slower we'd have been dead, or at the very least severely injured."

The Foreign Office has advised Britons in the country to "monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities".

Other visitors to have experienced the quake were the law and home affairs minister of Singapore, K. Shanmugam, who said the walls of his 10th-floor hotel room in Mataram were cracked as the building shook violently.

He wrote on Facebook: "It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams. Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking.

"Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors."

Take That star Gary Barlow and celebrity model Chrissy Teigen were also caught up in the chaos, with the latter keeping her 10.6 million followers on Twitter informed of what was happening.

Mr Nugroho has said there are no tourists among the dead so far, with three ships having been deployed to help evacuate those left stranded.

Airports on both Lombok and Bali also remain open despite minor damage.

The islands are famed for their pristine beaches and mountains but are similarly renowned for a series of destructive earthquakes, with local planning restrictions in both locations prohibiting construction above the height of coconut trees in a bid to limit any damage.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth, as it sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and cause many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

In December 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in the west of the country killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

Another 8.6 magnitude quake off the coast of Sumatra killed 900 people and injured 6,000 in March 2005, and there have been several other deadly quakes since.

In May 2006, a 6.3 magnitude quake rocked a region of Java near the city of Yogyakarta, killing around 6,000 people and injuring 38,000, and 600 people died in a quake near the popular resort of Pangandaran two months later.

Two quakes in September 2009 killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed 100,000 homes between them, and 430 died in a quake in October 2010, which also left 15,000 homeless.

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