Death toll from Indonesia quake climbs over 320

People carry an earthquake victim for a burial ceremony at Tanjung, in northern Lombok on West Nusa Tenggara province on August 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Death toll from Indonesia quake climbs over 320

PEMANANG: The death toll from a huge 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s Lombok island has climbed to more than 320, officials said on Friday, even as relief efforts picked up pace.
The national disaster mitigation agency said it had verified 321 deaths and that over 270,000 people had been forced to flee their homes because of a series of tremors over the past two weeks.
On Thursday, the death toll from Sunday’s quake jumped to 259.
A fresh 5.9 magnitude aftershock prompted fresh panic in the north of the popular holiday destination on Thursday.
Nearly 75 percent of residential structures have been destroyed in northern Lombok because of poor construction unable to withstand strong tremors, the agency said in a statement.
“Aid is being distributed as quickly as possible upon arrival,” Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the agency said in a statement, adding that hundreds of volunteers were assisting the efforts.
Mobile kitchens have started distributing much-needed food and water to thousands of evacuees in the worst-hit areas, he said, after several days’ delay due to poor access and communications.
President Joko Widodo on Friday said he was delaying plans to visit Lombok until next week, citing concerns over continuing aftershocks.
“After the emergency period is over, the government will undertake rehabilitation, reconstruction, repairs to residential areas and public facilities,” the cabinet secretariat website quoted Widodo as saying.
Widodo visited the island after a 6.4 magnitude quake on July 29 killed 17 people and injured dozens more.
The quakes have prompted tourists to flee during what is otherwise the peak season for the island destination famous for its beaches.


3 rebels killed in Kashmir, 35 hurt amid anti-India clashes

Updated 5 min 43 sec ago
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3 rebels killed in Kashmir, 35 hurt amid anti-India clashes

  • Fighting erupted on Sunday after troops cordoned off a village in southern Kulgam area
  • India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety

SRINAGAR, India: Officials say three suspected rebels have been killed in a gunbattle with government forces in disputed Kashmir, triggering violent anti-India protests.
The Indian military says the fighting erupted on Sunday after troops cordoned off a village in southern Kulgam area.
As the fighting raged, anti-India protesters tried to reach the site of the standoff. They threw stones at government forces hoping to help the trapped rebels escape.
Government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the protesters, leaving at least 35 injured.
India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.
Most Kashmiris support rebel demands that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.