Death toll from Lombok earthquake surpasses 430, Indonesia authorities say
Property losses equate to nearly a half-billion in Canadian dollars, and expected to rise
The death toll from the earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok a week ago has risen to over 430 and the government estimates economic losses will exceed several hundred million dollars.
The national disaster agency said Monday that the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people. Most of them died in collapsing buildings.
It said damage to homes, infrastructure and other property is at least 5 trillion rupiah ($450 million Cdn), a temporary figure that will rise as more assessments are made. The agency said rebuilding will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The magnitude 7.0 quake flattened thousands of homes, and according to the disaster agency's latest estimate, it has displaced about 350,000 people.
"The damage and losses are very large," said spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
"When all data has been collected later, the amount will be greater. It needs trillions of rupiah (hundreds of millions of dollars) for rehabilitation and reconstruction. It will take time to restore community life and economic development."
Nugroho said damaged roads were hindering access to isolated mountainous areas, and helicopters had been deployed by the disaster agency, the military and the search and rescue agency to distribute aid.
Lombok, a popular but less developed tourist destination than neighbouring Bali, was hit by three strong quakes in a little over a week and has endured more than 500 aftershocks.
A July 29 quake killed 16 people. An aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 on Thursday caused panic, more damage and more than two dozen injuries.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the so-called Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.