JAKARTA – Indonesian authorities updated on Monday the death toll to three after a magnitude-5.5 earthquake shook the central Lombok island a day earlier.
At least 182 people were injured in the tremor that triggered a landslide at a popular waterfall on the tourist island on Sunday.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesperson of the National Agency for Disaster Management, said the dead included two Malaysian tourists and a local teenager who were dragged along with 36 others in the landslide from Mount Rinjani at the Tiu Kelep waterfall.
Some 32 buildings collapsed and 500 were affected with moderate damage. More than 80 people – 26 of them Malaysians – had to be evacuated from Mount Rinjani.
According to the United States Geological Survey, which records seismic activity around the world, the hypocenter of the earthquake was situated some 24 kilometers (around 15 miles) deep and four kilometers south east of Sembalun Bumbung village, in the northeastern region of the island.
Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world as it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity, where some 7,000 earthquakes, mostly moderate, are recorded each year.
Nearly 70 people were killed in floods and landslides that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in January this year.
The country was hit by a series of tremors last year that left more than 500 dead and thousands displaced.
Between July 29 and Aug. 19, 2018, a series of tremors in Lombok – near Bali Island – left 564 dead and more than 400,000 displaced. The majority of the casualties were recorded after the devastating magnitude-6.9 earthquake jolted the island on Aug. 5.
Only helicopters and motorcycles were able to access the steepest and most remote areas of the island as landslides had blocked some routes.
After the first few earthquakes last year, more than 500 mountaineers were trapped on Mount Rinjani. Among the people stranded on the volcano were 189 foreigners, 173 Indonesians, 31 guides and 150 porters.
Mount Rinjani is said to be the second highest volcano in Indonesia, at 3,726 meters, and remains active.
Indonesia’s deadliest ever tremor struck Sumatra island in 2014 and triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 280,000 people in around a dozen countries along the Indian Ocean, with the biggest number of casualties registered in Indonesia.