At least 347 people have died in a 6.9-magnitude earthquake and strong aftershocks that hit the Indonesian resort islands of Bali and Lombok on Sunday, state-run Antara News reported, quoting the sub-district heads. On Monday, reports said 91 people were killed in the earthquake.
“The data was reported at a meeting of sub-district heads and the regent today [Wednesday],” said North Lombok’s Regional Disaster Management Agency chief Iwan Asmara.
Asmara and North Lombok Regional Secretariat and Protocol chief Mujaddid Muhas said 54 people had died in Gangga sub-district, 171 in Kayangan, 11 in Bayan, 54 in Tanjung, and 57 in Pemenang on Lombok islands. “That is the total temporary data we received from the entire sub-district head until Wednesday afternoon,” Asmara said.
The national disaster agency, however, said 164 people have died in the earthquake. “The death toll rose to 164 people with at least 1,400 people seriously injured and 156,000 displaced,” agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP. Nugroho has repeatedly said the number of deaths will increase.
Search and rescue teams have been working to access those in the worst-affected areas, close to the epicentre in northern Lombok.
Meanwhile, Facebook on Wednesday apologised after users who marked themselves ‘safe’ after the earthquake saw their messages decorated with images of balloons and confetti, The Guardian reported. Many Indonesian users wrote messages on Facebook using the word “selamat” – which can mean safe and congratulations – prompting celebratory animations.
“We regret that it appeared in this unfortunate context and have since turned off the feature [automatic animations for ‘congratulations’] locally,” a spokesperson said.
Last week, at least 17 people were killed in Lombok in an earthquake. The Indonesian archipelago is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity.