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At Least 131 People Confirmed Killed in Powerful Indonesia Quake

Written by Darius Rubics

At least 131 people have now been confirmed dead from a powerful earthquake that struck a group of Indonesian resort islands on Sunday.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, announced the revised casualty figures Wednesday. The numbers have increased as search and rescue crews reach areas isolated from the 6.9 magnitude quake, which struck off the waters of the northern part of Lombok island. The quake was also felt on the neighboring Gili Islands as well as Bali, Sumbawa and parts of East Java.

Thousands of homes were damaged in the disaster, leaving about 156,000 people on Lombok island displaced and forced into emergency shelters. The military has dispatched at least three transport planes carrying water, food, tents and medical supplies.

Thousands of tourists have been evacuated from Lombok and three tiny nearby islands called the Gilis.

Nugroho says the death toll is expected to rise as search and rescue crews reach more affected areas and begin to search the rubble for more victims.

Last week, 17 people were killed when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Lombok.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for its pristine beaches and mountains.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean Basin. In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

VOA’s Indonesia service contributed to this report.

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Darius Rubics

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