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Lombok Earthquake Death Toll Rises to Over 300

The island of Lombok was shaken by a third big earthquake in little more than a week on Thursday as the official death toll from the most powerful of the quakes increased to more than 300 people.

The aftershock caused more trauma for Indonesians, said a spokesman for the national disaster agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Wiranto, Indonesia’s top security minister, who uses only one name, told reporters that the death toll from Sunday’s magnitude 7.0 quake had risen to 319. The announcement came after an interagency meeting was called to resolve wildly different figures from various government offices.

“We are taking action as fast as we can to handle this disaster,” he said.

Mr. Nguroho said in statement that the death toll would continue to rise because rescue workers were still finding victims in the ruins of collapsed buildings and that some people who were already buried were not yet included in the official toll.

The Red Cross said it was focusing relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people who had not yet received any assistance.

According to the disaster agency’s latest update, nearly 68,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in Sunday’s quake, and 270,000 people are homeless or otherwise displaced.

Source: The New York Times

Photo courtesy of Reuters

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