Lombok earthquake leaves tourists stranded on Gili islands

Lombok earthquake leaves tourists stranded on Gili islands

The death toll of the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Indonesian tourism hotspot Lombok and shook Bali on Sunday night has climbed to 98.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency is still searching through the rubble of thousands of homes destroyed by the quake and some reports indicate the death toll to rise as high as 142.

Rescue operations are also being hampered by the loss of power and communications in some areas leaving hundreds of tourists on the Gili Islands in the dark with no electricity or water for the second night.

Footage posted to Twitter shows scenes of tourists flocking to board boats off Gili Trawangan.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop is urging Australians stranded on the Gili Islands to remain patient.

“Some are choosing to stay, others are seeking to be evacuated but it’s only accessible by boat so that can take some time,” she said.

“We urge Australians to work with the local authorities and to keep track of social media or local media to keep updated as to what’s happening. But it is a very serious situation. There is quite considerable damage to property and a loss of life.”

The ABC reports that hundreds of Australians remain on Lombok but there have still been no reports of any being injured or killed.

Tiffany Law from the Red Cross told the ABC that it was the regional areas which were hit hardest.

“The city itself does not look too badly affected, however the further you go, the more remote areas, that’s where you start to see the damage,” she said.

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