Death toll rising after quake on Indonesian island

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The toll of at least 98 dead is expected to rise as rescuers reach more devastated areas.

That was a rare piece of good news as hopes of finding more survivors faded and a humanitarian crisis loomed for thousands left homeless by the disaster in the rural area and in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter.

In a press conference, the spokesperson for the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho went on to say that another 1,467 people were admitted to hospitals owing to the injuries they sustained in the Sunday quake. The shallow tremor sent thousands of Lombok residents and tourists scrambling outdoors, where many spent the night as strong aftershocks including one of 5.3-magnitude continued to rattle the island.

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with much-needed food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks have now arrived in Lombok.

Riduan, a 45-year-old man whose house was partially destroyed, said he had received no assistance and had bought food himself. We're all relying on the government to help.

I Ngurah Ardita said the airport was now filled with passengers seeking to depart from Lombok.

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Lombok had already been hit by a 6.4 magnitude quake on July 29 that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

According to The Jakarta Post, around 1,477 people have been severely injured in the latest quake, with tens of thousands of homes damaged, and authorities have appealed for more medical personnel and basic supplies.

A woman's body was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed mosque in Bangsal district in the north of the island. A green and yellow dome rested on the pile of rubble, the only part of the structure still intact.

Officials said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where fears of a tsunami spread soon after the quake.

It was a rare moment of joy since the natural disaster struck, killing at least 98 people, including two on the neighbouring island of Bali to the west. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 quake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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