Indonesia | Hundreds stranded on mountain after earthquake

Earthquake survivors receive medical treatment at a temporary shelter in Sembalun, East Lombok

Rescuers are trying to evacuate hundreds of tourists stranded on Mount Rinjani on the Indonesian island of Lombok after an earthquake that killed 16 people triggered landslides.

Mount Rinjani National Park chief, Sudiyono, said yesterday a team of about 165 rescuers is expected to reach a crater lake where the foreign and Indonesian trekkers are trapped by late afternoon.

“Providing food and medicine to them as soon as possible is now our priority,” said Sudiyono, who uses one name.

The landslides on Rinjani killed an Indonesian student, raising the death toll from the magnitude 6.4 earthquake to 16.

The shallow quake early Sunday damaged more than 1,400 houses and was felt on neighboring Bali, where no damage or casualties were reported.

Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency has recorded more than 270 aftershocks.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said more than 680 people are stranded on Rinjani based on figures from its entry gates where visitors are registered. Most are foreign — from 26 countries, including more than 330 from Thailand.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

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

Categories Asia-Pacific