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Thousands left homeless by deadly quake on Indonesian island

Authorities say rescuers have not yet reached all devastated areas and expect the death toll to rise.

Thousands left homeless by a powerful earthquake on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok are sheltering in makeshift tents.

Authorities say rescuers have not yet reached all devastated areas and expect the toll of 98 dead to climb.

Makeshift tents are erected to be used as a temporary shelter for those affected by an earthquake in Sembalun, Lombok Island (Adrial Pranandi/AP)

It was the second deadly quake in a week to hit Lombok, a less-developed island compared with its more famous neighbour Bali, where the strong tremors caused panic and damaged buildings.

A July 29 quake killed 16 people and damaged hundreds of houses on Lombok, some of which collapsed in Sunday evening’s quake, measured at magnitude 7.0 by Indonesian authorities and 6.9 by the US Geological Survey.

Damage was “massive” in mountainous northern Lombok, where the quake was centred, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. In several districts, more than half the homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

Patients are evacuated outside a hospital following an earthquake in Bali, Indonesia (Firdia Lisnawati/AP)

A large mosque collapsed on worshippers in northern Lombok’s Lading-Lading village, and rescuers used a backhoe to search the debris. The number of victims was unknown.

Some areas still hadn’t been reached 24 hours after the quake because of collapsed bridges, blocked and ruptured roads and the loss of power and communications.

Police said the death toll had risen to 98 and warned it will continue to increase. All but two were killed on Lombok; the others died on Bali.

More than 230 people were seriously injured. Thousands of homes and buildings were damaged and those displaced camped wherever they could — in sports fields and on roadsides, cobbling together ramshackle shelters and building campfires for warmth.

Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton, in Lombok for a regional security meeting, said he and his delegation were dining in their hotel’s 12th-floor restaurant when the quake struck, plunging the building into darkness and throwing people to the floor.

“Mate, we were knocked certainly to the floor. It was the violence of the shaking of the building — was pretty dramatic,” he said in a radio interview. “Everyone’s a bit shaken, but all well. But people out in the villages or elsewhere haven’t been so lucky, unfortunately.”

The Bali and Lombok airports have stayed open.

Model Chrissy Teigen, who was in Bali with singer-husband John Legend and their two children, live-tweeted the shaking.

“Bali. Trembling. So long,” Teigen tweeted to her 10.6 million followers.

Hours later, she asked news organisations not to write more stories about her lively stream-of-consciousness tweets, suggesting media focus instead on those who need help.

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