More than 70,000 homeless after deadly Lombok quake

Shanmugam caught in Lombok earthquake that killed 82:

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and his delegation were in Lombok when disaster struck – take a look at how the earthquake affected him

An Abu Dhabi expat has described how she and her friend narrowly escaped death after a powerful natural disaster hit Indonesia on August 5.

Reports said the 6.9-magnitude quake which struck the Indonesian tourist islands of Lombok on Sunday killed almost 100 people and left at least 20 000 others homeless.

Aid began reaching isolated areas of the Indonesian island struggling after a powerful natural disaster that killed at least 131 people, while rescuers Wednesday doubled down on efforts to find the dead, pulling another body from the rubble. Water, food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks.

But the rescuers and heavy equipment were, "very much needed elsewhere, so we chose to shift the operation" to other locations, Mr Supartana said.

"Under the current situation, we estimate that the status will be extended, possibly for a week", he said.

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Tourism operators sleeping in the gardens of the hotels they run on the Indonesian island of Lombok are urging travellers not to be scared off by Sunday's deadly natural disaster.

The power went out and they began evacuating once the building stopped shaking, he said.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, in Lombok for a regional security meeting, said he and his delegation were eating dinner in their hotel's 12th floor restaurant when the quake struck, plunging the building into darkness and throwing people to the floor. It is expected to rise further because authorities believe people have been hit and killed by buildings including mosques, health clinics and houses which have collapsed.

"And then the roof started falling down on us, rocks and rubble and then just everyone running to get away", he said.

Officials said an operation is now underway to evacuate thousands of tourists from Lombok and nearby islands.

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The West Sumatra government has donated one tonne of its most famous culinary export, beef rendang - a slow-cooked coconut curry.

Oxfam said more than 20,000 people were in temporary shelters and thousands more were camping out in the open. Villagers fearing aftershocks could be seen camped by the thousands under makeshift blue tarpaulins held together with bamboo and sticks.

Zulas Triani, a teacher who is sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small amount of water.

Septa Rendra is originally from East Java, Indonesia, a short flight from Lombok island where two devastating earthquakes have killed more than 100 people since July 29. But officials said they would have to resume their search for the body there at first light Wednesday.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim, the BBC reported. She said: "Throughout the ordeal people's true colors really came out".

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Take That singer Gary Barlow is among the British tourists on the island. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 quake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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