Indonesia natural disaster death toll jumps to 347

"We are still waiting for assessments from some of the more remote areas in the north of the island, but it is already clear that Sunday's natural disaster was exceptionally destructive", said Mr Rassi.

Lombok was hit a week earlier by a 6.4 quake that killed 16 people.

The Indonesian Red Cross says it's focusing its Lombok quake relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people in remote areas in the north of the island where aid still has not reached.

While the quake was centred on the island of Lombok, people in nearby Bali were also strongly affected.

The national disaster agency said all those numbers were likely to increase, as more information comes in and more victims are found.

The death toll from a powerful quake on the Indonesian island of Lombok rose above 130 on Wednesday, as authorities appealed for food, clean water and medical help for some 156,000 people forced from their homes. An interagency meeting will be held Friday to compare information, Nugroho said.

The natural disaster killed more than 100 people in Lombok and injured hundreds of others, leaving thousands of locals homeless and tourists stranded.

Water, which has been in short supply due to a prolonged dry spell on the island, as well as food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks.

The Indonesian military said that three Hercules transporter planes packed with food, medication, blankets, tents and water tanks had arrived in Lombok.

"There are still some evacuees that have not yet been touched by aid, especially in North Lombok and West Lombok", Mr Nugroho said.

Rescuers intensified efforts Wednesday to find those buried in the rubble, with volunteers and rescue personnel erecting temporary shelters for the tens of thousands left homeless on the southern island.

The government says more than 1,400 people were injured and more than 156,000 displaced.

Thousands of people have been sleeping in makeshift shelters or out in the open.

A green and yellow dome rested on the pile of rubble, the only part of the structure still intact.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments