Death Toll For Indonesian Quake Rises Into The Hundreds

The Gili islands is located just off the coast of Lombok

The Gili islands is located just off the coast of Lombok

A strong natural disaster with a magnitude of 6.2 hit Indonesia's Lombok island on Thursday, causing some buildings to collapse, according to witnesses and the Southeast Asian nation's meteorology and geophysics agency.

An aerial view of the collapsed Jamiul Jamaah mosque where rescue workers and soldiers search for natural disaster victims in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia on August 8, 2018.

An Indonesian man examines the remains of houses, after a 6.4 magnitude quake struck, in Lombok on 29 July, 2018.

The quake also impacted the neighboring island of Bali with minor damage reported at Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Indonesia's Chief Security Minister had earlier said 319 people had died, while local media reported figures as high as 347.

Some villages had "completely collapsed", said a Red Cross official in Lombok, Christopher Rassi.

Speaking to The Washington Post by phone en route to a badly-damaged village, he said nearly 80 percent of the buildings and structures, including homes, schools and community facilities, have been destroyed in that area.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster agency, tweeted videos on Thursday showing what appeared to be new damage to buildings and power lines.

The quake came just days after a smaller magnitude 6.4 tremblor shook the island on 29 July.

He also says they're continuing to look for people with untreated injuries.

The strong aftershock, measured at magnitude 5.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey, caused panic and damage.

There were fears the death toll would rise as workers with heavy machinery shifted rubble at a collapsed mosque.

Rescuers are finding some remote areas hard to reach because bridges and roads have been destroyed by the natural disaster. Many Indonesian speakers wrote messages on Facebook using the word "selamat" - which can mean "safe" but also "congratulations" - triggering celebratory animations.

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Thousands of people left homeless sheltered Monday night in makeshift tents following a powerful quake that ruptured roads and flattened buildings on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, as authorities said rescuers hadn't yet reached all devastated areas.

The latest quake, which is understood to have struck 20 minutes before the building fell to the ground, claimed at least six fresh casualties and sent the death toll to more than 320.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross said Tuesday all of the 2,000 tourists on the Gili Islands had now been evacuated. "They want to be treated outdoors", he said, adding that search and rescue work was still ongoing.

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