Hopes of finding survivors faded in quake-devastated Lombok island in Indonesia on Wednesday as a humanitarian crisis for 156,000 left homeless looms with a shortage of clean water, food, and medicine.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency put the death toll from Sunday’s 6.9-magnitude earthquake at 131, including two on the western neighbouring island of Bali.
The agency said the figure was expected to rise. Nearly 2,500 people have been hospitalised with serious injuries.
Rescue workers were finding some hamlets hard to reach because bridges and roads were torn up by the major temblor.
“Teams are speaking of coming across ghost towns, villages that have essentially been abandoned,” said Matthew Cochran of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He added 80 percent of buildings had been damaged or destroyed.