IS­LAND NOT JUST ROCKED BUT RAISED BY QUAKE

Deadly tem­blor not only killed hun­dreds in Indonesia but el­e­vated Lom­bok by al­most a foot.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Andi Jat­miko and Stephen Wright

TAN­JUNG, INDONESIA» Sci­en­tists say the pow­er­ful In­done­sian earth­quake that killed nearly 400 peo­ple lifted the is­land it struck by as much as 10 inches.

The Na­tional Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion Agency said Sat­ur­day that 387 peo­ple died, jump­ing from the 321 it re­ported the pre­vi­ous day, as search and res­cue teams con­tin­ued to sift through the rub­ble and peo­ple al­ready buried by rel­a­tives are ac­counted for.

Us­ing satel­lite im­ages of Lom­bok from the days fol­low­ing the Aug. 5 earth­quake, sci­en­tists from NASA and the Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy’s joint rapid imag­ing project made a ground de­for­ma­tion map and mea­sured changes in the is­land’s sur­face.

In the north­west of the is­land near the epi­cen­ter, the rup­tur­ing fault­line lifted the earth by a quar­ter of a me­ter. In other places it dropped by 2 to 6 inches.

NASA said satel­lite ob­ser­va­tions can help au­thor­i­ties re­spond to earth­quakes and other nat­u­ral or man-made dis­as­ters.

Al­most 390,000 peo­ple, about 10 per­cent of Lom­bok’s pop­u­la­tion, are home­less or dis­placed af­ter the earth­quake, which dam­aged and de­stroyed about 68,000 homes.

Dis­as­ter agency spokesman Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho said three districts in the north of Lom­bok still haven’t re­ceived any as­sis­tance. The gov­er­nor of West Nusa Teng­gara province, which in­cludes Lom­bok, has ex­tended the of­fi­cial emer­gency pe­riod by two weeks to Aug. 25.

“It’s es­ti­mated the death toll will con­tinue to grow be­cause there are still vic­tims who are sus­pected of be­ing buried by land­slides and col­lapsed build­ings and there are deaths that have not been recorded,” Nu­groho said.

The num­ber of evac­uees fluc­tu­ates, he said, be­cause not all evac­uee points have been counted and some peo­ple tend to their gar­dens and prop­er­ties dur­ing the day and re­turn to the tent camps at night. Some peo­ple don’t need to evac­u­ate be­cause their homes aren’t dam­aged but have come to refugee cen­ters be­cause they feel trau­ma­tized.

Nearly a week since the 7.0 quake, Lom­bok is still reel­ing — but glim­mers of nor­mal­ity were re­turn­ing for some, and de­vout vil­lagers are mak­ing plans for tem­po­rary re­place­ments of mosques that were flat­tened.

In Tan­jung, one of the worst af­fected districts in the hard-hit north of the is­land, a food mar­ket opened Sat­ur­day and lo­cals bought veg­eta­bles and fish.

Some shops also opened for busi­ness — de­spite be­ing in dam­aged build­ings.

“I had to bor­row money from some­one to buy morn­ing glory to be resold here,” said Nat­budi, one of the mar­ket ven­dors. “If I just stay at the camp and don’t come here to sell, then I don’t have money to buy rice.”

Lom­bok, a pop­u­lar and less de­vel­oped tourist des­ti­na­tion than neigh­bor­ing Bali, was hit by three strong earth­quakes in lit­tle over a week and has en­dured more than 500 aftershocks.

A July 29 quake killed 16 peo­ple. An af­ter­shock mea­sur­ing mag­ni­tude 5.9 on Thurs­day caused panic, more dam­age and more than two dozen in­juries.

Ulet Ifansasti, Getty Im­ages

Vil­lagers gather at a tem­po­rary shel­ter in San­tong, Indonesia, on Sun­day. Hun­dreds died as a 7.0mag­ni­tude earth­quake was fol­lowed by ma­jor aftershocks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.