Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 555

More than 1,300 people were injured on Lombok island in the major quake and 353,000 are now internally displaced

Published: August 24, 2018 16:16:47 | Updated: August 24, 2018 20:07:26

In the last several weeks, Lombok has been hit by several earthquakes and powerful aftershocks. -Reuters Photo

The death toll from a major earthquake that hit the Indonesian island of Lombok rose to 555 on Friday.

Spokesman for the national disaster agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho announced the the new casualty count on Twitter, reports Al Jazeera.

The shallow 6.9-magnitude quake levelled tens of thousands of homes, mosques, and businesses across Lombok on August 5.

More than 1,300 people were injured and nearly 353,000 have been internally displaced.

According to Sutopo, supplies for those made homeless are still being distributed with about 30,000 tents and 100 wheelchairs sent to affected areas.

Authorities estimate the earthquake caused $348m in damage on Lombok.

According to scientists from NASA and the California Institute of Technology's rapid-imaging project, the quake lifted the island as much as 25 centimetres in some areas. In other places, the ground dropped five-15cm.

NASA said satellite observations can help authorities respond to earthquakes and other natural or man-made disasters.

Ring of Fire

Last week the island was hit by several strong aftershocks.

At least twelve people died following the tremors that caused landslides and panic in several villages.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location in the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a massive tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries across the Indian Ocean.

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