More than 500 hikers stranded on mountain after Indonesia quake: official


LOMBOK, Indonesia, July 30, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – More than 500 hikers and their
guides remain stranded by landslides on an active volcano on Lombok, a day
after a powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian holiday island, a national
park official said Monday.

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.

“There are still 560 people trapped. Five hundred are in Segara Anakan
area, and 60 are in Batu Ceper,” said the head of Rinjani national park
Sudiyono, who goes by one name.

Sixteen people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the
shallow 6.4-magnitude quake, which sent people running from their homes early
in the morning of Sunday.

The quake also dislodged tonnes of rock and mud on Mt. Rinjani, leaving
people with no easy way down.

Rising some 3,726 metres (12,224 feet) above sea level, the peak is the
second-tallest volcano in Indonesia and a favourite among sightseers keen to
take in its expansive views.

Hiking trails on the mountain were closed following the quake due to fear
of further landslides.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Lombok’s
main city Mataram, the United States Geological Survey said, far from the
main tourist spots on the south and west of the island.

The initial tremor was followed by two strong secondary quakes and more
than 100 aftershocks.