Indonesia in rescue bid for 500 hikers stranded after quake

By: AFP July 30,2018 - 09:13 PM

INDONESIA mounted a rescue operation Monday to reach more than 500 hikers and guides stranded by landslides on an active volcano on Lombok, a day after a powerful earthquake struck the holiday island.

Helicopters and search teams have been deployed to scour the slopes of Mount Rinjani, which is crisscrossed with hiking routes popular with tourists, while rescuers have made airdrops of food supplies to those stranded.

Tons of rock and mud were dislodged on the mountain in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck early Sunday and was followed by scores of aftershocks, leaving hikers with no easy way down to safety.

“There are still 560 people trapped,” said the head of Rinjani national park Sudiyono, who goes by one name.

Those believed to be stranded include citizens from the United States, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Germany, as well as many other countries, search and rescue officials said.

Hundreds of other hikers managed to get off the mountain on Sunday, according to officials.

At least 16 people were killed in the earthquake across affected areas of Lombok, while hundreds of buildings were destroyed including a health clinic.

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TAGS: 500, hikers, Indonesia, quake, rescue, stranded

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