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UN chief expresses condolence; promises help to earthquake hit Indonesia


Indonesia, Aug 7: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres extended his condolence to the people of Indonesia after a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake caused hundreds of deaths and displacements in Indonesia's East Lombok.

File photo of Antonio Guterres

According to Indonesia's National Disaster Management Authority, at least 98 people have lost their lives, with more than 200 injured and thousands displaced in the earthquake. In addition, thousands of houses have been damaged, and according to news reports around 10,000 have been evacuated from the island.

"The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Indonesia, and wishes the injured a quick recovery," said a statement issued on Tuesday (Aug 7) by his Spokesman, who added that "the United Nations stands ready to support ongoing rescue and relief efforts, if required".

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in a statement said, "The earthquake caused widespread panic. Many people ran from their homes and have stayed by the roadsides overnight. Hundreds of people were treated for injuries, some of them in the open air to avoid the risk of further injury". Search and rescue activities are ongoing. "As the earthquake happened in the evening and cut power and communications in the area, a full picture of people's needs is still emerging," added the IFRC. "Some 132 aftershocks have been recorded in the area."

The death toll is expected to rise, with one official telling reporters that 80 per cent of north Lombok has suffered damage.


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