Indonesia rescues hundreds of western hikers trapped in Mount Rinjani volcanic eruption

Frederick Owens
August 9, 2018

A man inspects the damage caused by the quake in Lombok, Indonesia.

According to the agency, only 149 people are stuck on top of Mount Rinjani itself, while around 500 hikers are stranded in the Sembalun Village, which is located along the volcanic mountain's slope. Hikers were also able to start descending the mountain after guides discovered an alternate route that was unaffected by the landslides.

Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said there were 203 aftershocks throughout July 29, following the quake.

Hundreds of tourists stranded on Mount Rinjani on the Indonesian island of Lombok by an natural disaster that killed 16 people and triggered landslides are making their way off the mountain, shaken by their experience but mostly unharmed, an official said Monday.

They included hikers from the United States, France, Germany, Thailand and The Netherlands, search and rescue officials said.

Helicopters and rescue teams on foot have been deployed to scour the slopes of Mount Rinjani, which is crisscrossed with hiking routes popular with tourists.

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The Lombok quake struck at 6:47 am at a shallow depth of 7 km that amplified its effect. More than 335 people were injured, many by collapsing buildings.

At least 162 people were hurt, according to Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency.

On Sunday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that one Malaysian died and six others were injured from the natural disaster. A local hotel owner, Jean Paul Volchaert, reported his own experience of these aftershocks, saying, "we felt aftershocks for two hours after the initial quake, so we're anxious that there could be more damage caused".

Indonesia is particularly prone to seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a chain of volcanoes and fault lines.

In 2004, a tsunami caused by an quake of magnitude 9.3 on the Richter scale, left 220,000 dead in several countries of the Indian Ocean, of which 168,000 were Indonesians.

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