Indonesia in rescue bid for 500 hikers stranded after quake

Indonesia in rescue bid for 500 hikers stranded after quake

Indonesia in rescue bid for 500 hikers stranded after quake

The final six hikers were brought down from the mountain Tuesday morning, confirmed National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, following a massive combined rescue effort involving nearly 200 Indonesian police, military and medical personnel.

Provincial tourism stakeholders implemented service procedures, including hotel charge discounts, for foreign tourists affected by natural disaster in Lombok island, Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Tuesday. The hiker who perished was reportedly struck and killed by falling rocks and debris.

"I thought I was going to die", said John Robyn Buenavista, a 23-year-old American, who was at the summit when the quake hit. "What's happening?'" she said.

"We started this morning at 6am and will continue to monitor the situation for the next three days from our base at the foot of the mountain in Sembalun".

"They were all exhausted but in good condition and were checked by our medical teams on the ground upon arrival", he told AFP.

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The volcano, which rises 3,726m (12,224ft) above sea level and is the second-highest one in Indonesia, is a favourite among sightseers.

On Sunday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that one Malaysian died and six others were injured from the natural disaster.

One military officer told Indonesia TV that by late Monday afternoon more than 250 people had reached a relief post in Sembalun village and a team of rescuers had reached hundreds more near the mountain's crater lake. The shallow quake set off landslides on the mountain that's carpeted in boulders and rocks, blocking usual paths out.

Hundreds of people in Lombok have been left homeless and are staying in temporary camps amid continuing aftershocks.

The initial natural disaster on Sunday was followed by 60 smaller quakes, according to the BBC, with the largest reaching magnitude 5.7.

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