Death toll of Indonesia's earthquake rises to 14, tourists evacuated

Xinhua Published: 2018-07-29 14:51:59
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo issued an order on Sunday to deliver relief aid for people in areas affected by the strong earthquake in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province, planning to visit the area on Monday, a president aide said. 

A collapsed house after an earthquake struck in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, 29 July 2018. [Photo: IC]

A collapsed house after an earthquake struck in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, 29 July 2018. [Photo: IC]

Fourteen people were reported dead and 162 injured from impacts of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks. Around 1,000 of houses were damaged in the disaster, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). 

One Malaysian national was among the fatalities, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency told Xinhua in a text message.

The presidential deputy officer for media affairs Bey Machmudin said that the order was issued shortly after the president landed in an NTB airport from his visit in Maros regency, South Sulawesi province.

In a meeting after his landing, the president ordered the BNPB head, Social and Public Works ministers, military commander to immediately deliver relief aid for people affected by the strong earthquake which was followed by frequent aftershocks.

"We expect that deliverance of relief aids can be organized this afternoon or tomorrow morning. All elements from the central, provincial and regency governments and related institutions can move together," the official said in a statement. 

The president was scheduled to visit people in the earthquake-affected areas on Monday, he said, adding that NTB was in the president's schedule during his current visit program in various provinces across the country before the earthquake struck the province.

The president's current visit to NTB was initially purposed to inaugurate an Islamic boarding school building in the province's Sumbawa Besar regency. 

Head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati stated earlier in the day that at least 133 aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.7 have occurred until 3:00 p.m. since the earthquake took place 5:47 a.m. local time. 

She called on people to remain vigilant on possible more aftershocks which she said to come with lower magnitude. 

She added that the earthquake in the province's Lombok area was a shallow one.

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