0134 GMT December 16, 2019
Iran’s Foreign Ministry conveyed condolences to the Indonesian nation and government over the deaths of scores of people in a powerful earthquake that rocked the Southeast Asian country’s tourist island of Lombok on Sunday.
In a message on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed sympathy with Indonesians, including families of victims of the tragedy, the Foreign Ministry’s official website reported.
Scenes of destruction greeted rescue workers across Indonesia’s resort island of Lombok on Monday, after the earthquake of magnitude 6.9 killed at least 98 people and prompted an exodus of tourists rattled by the second powerful quake in a week.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said it expected the death toll to rise once the rubble of more than 13,000 flattened and damaged houses was cleared away, REUERS reported.
Power and communications were severed in some areas, with landslides and a collapsed bridge blocking access to areas around the quake epicenter in the north. The military said it would send a ship with medical aid, supplies and logistics support.
Lombok was hit on July 29 by a 6.4 magnitude quake that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.
The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) said more than 120 aftershocks were recorded after Sunday evening’s quake, whose magnitude the US Geological Survey (USGS) revised down to 6.9 from an initial 7.0.
The dead included no foreigners and there were 236 people injured, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.
The tremor was powerful enough to be felt on the neighboring island of Bali where, BNPB said, two people died. The first quake was also felt on Bali.
Indonesia sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.