Five South Africans caught up in deadly Indonesia quake are safe: Dirco

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Aid has started to arrive in isolated areas of the Indonesian island of Lombok, following an quake that killed at least 131 people, as rescuers continued to find bodies in the rubble.

Hundreds of tourists slept at Lombok Airport waiting for the first chance to leave.

"Without the businesses open and repaired there will be limited tourists therefore the impact on locals and the island itself is unthinkable".

He said the quake "was powerful enough to put us on the floor" and cut power.

About three-quarters of Lombok's north has been without electricity since Sunday, officials said, and aid workers are finding some hamlets hard to reach because bridges and roads were torn up by the tremor.

The country sits on the Ring of Fire, a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur. In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 quake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. "There are reports. that there are people buried alive, it is a critical time for immediate evacuation", he said. "We've got the people on the ground, experience and know the main thing we need is funding to do what we're trained to do", said Tom Howells of Save The Children.

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"Teams are speaking of coming across ghost towns, villages that have essentially been abandoned", Matthew Cochrane of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in Geneva on Tuesday. They used their hands, crowbars and whatever they could to free her. Machinery was eventually brought in and she was pulled to safety after four hours.

A boy with a heavily bandaged leg wailed in pain, an elderly man wore a splint improvised from strips of cardboard on a broken arm, and some hurt by falling debris still had dried blood on their faces.

The natural disaster came just one week after Lombok was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake that killed 17 people.

A 66-year-old village elder, Supardi, said a magnitude-6.4 quake that hit Lombok a week earlier had caused countless cracks in the mosque's walls.

Mutya Aryani, a local resident in Sumbawa, told VOA by phone, "Most people were at the mosque when the quake happened".

For more on this and other news around the we turn to our Ro Aram. That quake killed at least 16 people and injured more than 300, according to The Washington Post.

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"We really want to stay here to help the villagers", he said.

"There's no food, there's no water, there's no anything", Mr Maffescioni said. "The United Nations stands ready to support ongoing rescue and relief efforts, if required", said his spokesman in a statement.

Ghozali told Fairfax Media that he and other locals working in the industry feared it would be a long time before tourists returned to Lombok, which would mean he would lose his income after already losing so much in the natural disaster. The police were strolling around the beach and they completely ignored me.

"There are only a few tourists left here".

Sutopo said there were no fatalities among the local and foreign holidaymakers.

"The building swayed back and forth quite violently", he said.

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