At least 14 people were killed and more than 160 missing when a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake yesterday struck Lombok, with a three-day state of emergency declared for the popular tourist island next to Bali.
The quake was followed by 124 aftershocks in the same area, with the epicentre 50 kilometres north-east of the city of Mataram.
Other areas including popular tourist area of Senggigi reported strong shocks. The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring Bali.
“We estimate the number can still go up because we are not done collecting data,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Mount Rinjani, a popular trekking destination, has been closed due to landslides. A 30-year-old Malaysian woman, who was with 17 other Malaysians on a mission to scale the mountain, was among those killed.
About 300 climbers are still trapped by the earthquake, according to Mount Rinjani National Park Office.
“The process of evacuation of climbers is still ongoing,” Sutopo said.
No damage was found at the Bali and Lombok airports, with both in operations as usual. The surrounding airports of Komodo Labuan Bajo, Waingapu and Tambolaka are not affected by the earthquake and continue to operate normally.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has activated the crisis management team to monitor the situation and coordinate with the local government and ground-handlers to ensure that all visitors impacted by the quake are well taken care of.
Guntur Sakti, director of public communication, Ministry of Tourism, said: “We encourage visitors to stay alert, follow government instruction and always update themselves with information only from official social media or website of the Indonesian government.”