Hikers rescued on Lombok volcano after Indonesia earthquake | News | DW | 31.07.2018
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Hikers rescued on Lombok volcano after Indonesia earthquake

Hundreds of hikers were stranded on an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok when a powerful earthquake triggered landslides in the area. Rescue personnel reached the walkers with the use of helicopters.

Rescue teams successfully reached more than 500 trekkers and their guides, who were trapped on the slopes of Mount Rinjani on Indonesia's Lombok Island following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, officials said on Tuesday.

The quake struck the popular holiday island on Sunday, killing 16 people and destroying hundreds of buildings. It also caused landslides that blocked off two walking trails on Rinjani, an active volcano.

Read moreRing of Fire — Five facts about the most earthquake prone region in the world

"543 hikers have been evacuated. They arrived last night," Indonesian national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP news agency.

A map showing the epicenter of the volcano

"They were all tired, but in good condition and were checked by our medical teams on the ground upon arrival," he said.

Hikers were mostly foreigners

The national park authority had said earlier on Twitter that in order to allow some of the hikers to begin their descent from the volcano lake Segara Aakan, where they had gathered, rescuers had to clear the main route up the slope.

In the meantime, helicopters and dozens of emergency workers on foot were deployed to deliver food supplies and search for others still trapped.

National park head Sudiyono said as many as 820 people — most of them foreigners — were on the mountain when the earthquake struck.

By late afternoon more than 250 of them made it to a relief post in Sembalun village, a local military official told Indonesian TV. The official added that a team of rescuers was able to reach hundreds more near the mountain's crater lake and led down the mountain. Most of those already rescued were in good condition, suffering only light injuries.

Read moreScientists explain mystery bend in Hawaii-Emperor volcano chain

Mount Rinjani (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Mohr)

The hike up to the crater of Mount Rinjani offers spectacular views of Lombok

High seismic activity 

At 3,726 meters (12,224 feet), Mount Rinjani is Indonesia's second tallest volcano. The two-day trek to the crater is popular with tourists keen to take in views of the volcano's lake and surrounding jungle.

The epicenter of Sunday's earthquake was 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Lombok's main city, Mataram, according to the United States Geological Survey. 

Indonesia experiences frequent tremors due to its location on the seismically active "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.  

aw, nm/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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