Indonesia earthquake: Over 500 tourists rescued
At least 543 tourists have been rescued from a mountain in Indonsia's Lombok Island following a deadly earthquake that killed 16 people and cut off routes, a government official said on Tuesday.
The 6.4-magnitude temblor, with an epicentre not far from the base of Mount Rinjani volcano, struck the island on Sunday. It has also injured 355 people, forced 5,141 to evacuate their homes and destroyed over 1,000 buildings, Xinhua news agency quoted disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho as saying.
A total of 189 foreign tourists were among the hikers rescued by a joint-force of Indonesian special military force unit, police and rescuers, Sutopo said.
"All of them were rescued safely and are in a good health condition," he told Xinhua.
The rescuers are currently evacuating 10 other climbers after finding them earlier on Tuesday.
The spokesman revealed that a total of 1,090 hikers, including 723 foreign climbers, who had been stuck on the mountain after the quake, have headed down the flank of the volcano since Sunday.
The tourists are from China, the US, Canada, Britain, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Mount Rinjani volcano, a popular tourist destination, draws hundreds of thousands of climbers every year, according to the government data.
Indonesia is prone to quake as it lies on vulnerable quake-affected areas called the Pacific Ring of Fire. - IANS