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Reports said the 6.9-magnitude quake which struck the Indonesian tourist islands of Lombok on Sunday killed almost 100 people and left at least 20 000 others homeless.

The island, famous for its white sandy beaches and clear waters, is located near the epicentre of the 6.9 magnitude quake on Lombok that struck on Sunday evening.

The military said five planes carrying food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers left Jakarta for the island early Wednesday.

Aid agencies such as Oxfam are providing clean drinking water and tarpaulin sheets to about 5000 survivors and there are fears the death toll could rise significantly as more bodies are uncovered in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Indonesia's disaster agency says the death toll from the quake that shook Lombok island Sunday evening has risen to 131.

The death toll reached 105 on Tuesday, with 236 people injured.

An estimate of 156,000 residents are believed to have been displaced due to extensive damage to homes. "We have also asked private companies, construction companies to help by deploying their heavy equipment to participate (in the rescue efforts)", the governor said.

A British tourist on the small Gili islands off the coast of Lombok described the panic that ensued to The Guardian: "The most terrifying part was the tsunami warning that followed".

Global charity Oxfam said drinking water was scarce because of a recent spell of extremely dry weather in Lombok.

Most of those killed were struck by falling debris from collapsed buildings, according to Nugroho.

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"Some are choosing to stay; others are looking for way to leave the island", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is in neighbouring Bali for a conference, said.

She said: 'Another aftershock just now. probably the 8th one we have felt since the big one last night. we are safe, up high and nothing around us. thinking about everyone around us and in Lombok especially'.

Mr Supartana said two people had been found alive, along with three bodies. We hope to go back to the island next week when we can start receiving supplies to begin the rebuilding process.

His wife Maude, 44, said the family was on Bali for the first quake and Lombok for the second.

Following the magnitude-7 natural disaster in Lombok on Sunday, August 5, the West Nusa Tenggara tourist office post along with the Lombok tourist polytechnic team operated a food truck at the West Nusa Tenggara tourist offices.

Twenty-three-year old local man Ghozali who lives in northern Lombok and works on the tourist island of Gili T, slept outside with his extended family on Monday night because of serious structural damage to his home.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.

Lombok had already been hit by a 6.4 magnitude natural disaster on Jul 29 that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano. Among the many buildings destroyed on Lombok were two homes which housed around 80 underprivileged children.

Lombok's airport has reopened and has significantly increased the amount of flights coming in and out from the island.

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


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