82 dead, hundreds injured in Indonesia quake

Damage in Lombok
Singapore's law and security manager submitted this photo on facebook after he fled his hotel room.

Lombok, Indonesia – 82 people have died, hundreds injured and thousands of homes damaged after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the tourist island.

The earthquake at 18:46 local time on Sunday sent panicked people into streets and shelters, said Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency in a statement.

“82 people died due to the earthquake, hundreds of people were injured and thousands of homes were damaged. Thousands of residents fled to safe places,” said agency press officer Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“Most of the victims died from being hit by collapsed buildings,”he added.

The area was still working on stabilizing structures from a previous magnitude 6.4 quake, he said.

“The people panicked and scattered on the streets and buildings and houses that had previously been damaged by the previous earthquake had become more damaged and collapsed,” he said.

More than 80 aftershocks followed.

Search and rescue teams are continuing to find more victims.

The government is sending troops, medical equipment, tents and communication equipment to the area. That addition help was to arrive Monday morning.

“The main focus at this time is the search, rescue and assistance to people affected by the earthquake and fulfillment of basic needs. Current urgent needs are medical personnel, clean water, food, blankets, mats, tents, fast food, trauma healing services and other basic needs,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Singapore Law and home affairs minister K Shanmugam said he escaped down the staircase from his hotel room on the 10th floor.

“Our delegation is in Mataram, Lombok for a security conference,” he said on Facebook.

“I was in my room, 10th floor, working on my laptop. Suddenly the room shook violently, walls cracked, it was quite impossible to stand up.

“Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors. The BBC describes it as a huge earthquake.”

“Delegation thankfully safe though there i was told that there were casualties amongst other guests.”