Another one: Indonesia hit by 6.0-magnitude earthquake off Sumba


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Zaenal told Sky News he lost 10 relatives in the disaster

(SKY NEWS) — Four earthquakes measuring up to 6.0 magnitude have hit off the coast of an Indonesian island, says the US Geological Survey.

The tremors were recorded near Sumba island – hundreds of miles south of Sulawesi, which is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating quake and tsunami which hit on Friday.

More than 800 people died in that incident, according to official figures, but the actual number is believed to be far higher.

Indonesian authorities are scrambling to find survivors and provide shelter, food and water for people left homeless.

The latest tremors were recorded around 30km (18 miles) south of Sumba between 23:12 UTC and 00:16 UTC.

They grew in strength and measured 5.0, 5.4, 5.9 and 6.0 on the Richter scale. There are no details yet on what damage – if any – has been caused.

Mass burials have begun for the 844 victims found after Friday’s quake on Sulawesi.

However, there are fears many more are buried in mud and trapped under buildings in remote areas.

According to UN estimates, around 191,000 are in urgent need of help after the quake and tsunami wave – which measured up to 6m (20ft).

Dozens of students killed when a mudslide hit their church are among the latest victims discovered.

“A total of 34 bodies were found by the team,” Indonesia Red Cross spokeswoman Aulia Arriani said on Tuesday.

She said it was a 90-minute trek through the mud to retrieve the bodies from the church in mountainous Sigi Biromaru district, southeast of Palu city.

Blocked roads, damaged bridges and a lack of heavy machinery are making the rescue effort difficult.

In northern Palu, a man named Zaenal told Sky News that 10 of his relatives had died and 70 neighbours drowned.

“We’ve had disaster but we haven’t had any help. Why isn’t the government helping us?” he cried.

“Where is the support for us while we are suffering? We are the unlucky ones. We have already lost our relatives. Where is their heart?”

Despite the devastation, survivors are still being found.

A 38-year-old man was pulled from a collapsed building in Palu on Monday, three days after the disaster hit.

Indonesian TV showed Sapri Nusin conscious and talking as he was rescued from a destroyed finance building.

Other video showed a woman being rescued by torchlight.

Desperate survivors have been forced to loot shops, with aid slow to get through.

“The government, the president have come here, but what we really need is food and water,” said Burhanuddin Aid Masse, 48.

The UK is sending a team of experts and humanitarian aid to the country.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told Sky News that the UK had been asked to help and would be sending experts to co-ordinate efforts on the ground.


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