Death Toll of Indonesian Earthquake Rises to 131
The death toll in the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Lombok Island in Indonesia early Sunday morning has risen to 131, according to new numbers from The AP.
Rescue workers were still trying to reach people Wednesday in remote parts of the island, which is best known by tourists for its beaches and mountainous landscape. Officials said reports of additional deaths are still being verified, and the toll is still expected to rise. Nearly 1,500 people were hospitalized with serious injuries. A previous 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the island on July 29, weakening and cracking many structures, which worsened the impact of Sunday's quake, experts say.
All tourists who requested to be evacuated from Lombok and surrounding vacation islands, either because of the blackout conditions or other damages to their hotels, had left by boat. About 5,000 visitors were able to leave, officials said.
Indonesia is vulnerable to earthquakes because the archipelago sits in the so-called "Ring of Fire," a band of islands in the Pacific Ocean that is prone to volcanic activity and the earthquakes and tsunamis that come along with it.
As TPG Travel Editor Melanie Lieberman writes, when traveling to a destination that’s prone to natural disasters, like Indonesia, be sure to subscribe to push notifications from your airline, and consider checking local media for any news prior to departure. Travelers to the region should also seriously consider purchasing travel insurance and check with check directly with their hotel to make sure it wasn’t impacted during the quake.