Deadly Earthquake in Indonesia Has Already Claimed 16 Lives
On Sunday, a deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Lombok in Indonesia. Triggering landslides and destroying homes, the earthquake stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of Mount Rinjani, a 12,200-foot volcano popular with trekkers. The earthquake was so powerful that it could even be felt on Bali, 60 miles away from its epicenter on Lombok. The BBC reports that at least 16 people have been killed, and 330 injured.
A relief effort is currently underway on Mount Rinjani, where 820 hikers were climbing to the summit when the earthquake struck on Sunday. By Monday afternoon, 246 people had been rescued from the volcano, but trails blocked by landslides are making rescue attempts more difficult. American hiker John Robyn Buenavista told Reuters, “I saw people with half of their bodies stuck in the rocks and I just couldn’t move. I felt paralyzed and stopped moving. The guides were screaming, ‘Don’t die, don’t die.’ One of the guides had to shake me and take me by the hand.” Luckily, Buenavista made it safely out of Gunung Rinjani National Park, where the volcano is located.
The Indonesian government has declared a state of emergency, and the Mount Rinjani hiking trails have been closed indefinitely to anyone except rescue workers. The island’s only health center was also flattened in the quake, making relief efforts particularly complicated. This type of seismic activity is not new to Indonesia. Its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire, home to over half of the world’s above-water volcanoes, means Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters. This particular disaster, however, is already the most fatal earthquake in Indonesia since December 2016, when 104 people perished in a 6.5 magnitude quake.
H/T: Condé Nast Traveler