Over 500 hikers trapped at Lombok’s Mount Rinjani after earthquake

Hikers camp out at Mt. Rinjani on July 30, 2018, waiting to be evacuated after a 6.4 earthquake caused landslides at the volcano. Photo via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB
Hikers camp out at Mt. Rinjani on July 30, 2018, waiting to be evacuated after a 6.4 earthquake caused landslides at the volcano. Photo via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB

A 6.4 earthquake that shook Indonesia’s Lombok Sunday morning has left hundreds of hikers stranded on the island’s Mount Rinjani.

As of Monday morning, 560 hikers were reportedly still trapped on the mountain, unable to descend as landslides triggered by the earthquake have blocked trails, according to the head of Mount Rinjani National Park, Sudiyono.

The earthquake, which struck from an epicenter in northeastern Lombok has had a death toll of at least 12, while at least 162 people are said to have been injured.

At least 1,000 homes have been destroyed, according to data shared by Nation Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Sitting 3,726 meters above sea level, Mount Rinjani is a popular trail with hikers who often break up the route into a three-day, two-night trek.

“The latest development, is that there are 560 people,” Sudiyono told Detik from his office in East Lombok on Monday.

The climbers are stuck between two points, Lake Segara Anak and Batu Ceper.

“500 (hikers) are are at (the lake) while 60 are around Batu Ceper,” Sudiyono explained.

An Indonesian climber from Makassar, Sulawesi has been declared dead, but the body has not yet been evacuated. The body is near the 500 people gathered around Lake Segara Anak, said Sudiyono.

A joint team of rescuers consisting of the military, police, and search and rescue, was lowered this morning to evacuate the trapped climbers. A total of 165 personnel are on the rescue, while two helicopters have been deployed.

The hikers are of multiple nationalities, including Thailand, France, the Netherlands, and Malaysia, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Meanwhile, evacuation camps have been set up for people affected by the earthquake. President Joko Widodo has gone to eastern Lombok to ensure that relief is being administered quickly and visit people left as refugees from the destruction.


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