3rd strong quake shakes Lombok; death toll tops 300


Associated Press

TANJUNG, Indonesia

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

The strong aftershock, measured at magnitude 5.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey, caused panic, damage to buildings, landslides and injuries. It was centered in the northwest of the island and didn’t have the potential to cause a tsunami, Indonesia’s geological agency said.

Videos showed rubble strewn across streets and clouds of dust enveloping buildings. In northern Lombok, some people leaped from their vehicles on a traffic-jammed road. An Associated Press reporter in the provincial capital, Mataram, saw people injured by the quake and a hospital moving patients outside.

The aftershock caused more “trauma,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Wiranto, Indonesia’s top security minister, told reporters the death toll from Sunday’s magnitude 7.0 quake had risen to 319. The announcement came after an inter-agency meeting was called to resolve wildly different figures from various government offices.

Nguroho said the death toll will rise because rescue workers are still finding victims in the ruins of collapsed buildings and some people who are already buried are not yet included in the official toll.

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