Lombok airport crowded with visitors after deadly quake

Lombok International Airport of Indonesia is crowded with tourists who want to leave Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara province, after an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck on August 5.

Lombok airport crowded with visitors after deadly quake

Agung Sampurno, head of the Mataram Immigration Office, said foreigners with expired visas affected by the earthquake in Lombok will be exempt from the fine of 25 USD per day under Indonesia’s regulations. Those in need will also receive financial aid, food, drinking water and support to replace papers and passports lost in the earthquake.

The immigration office has opened a mobile office at the Lombok airport to instruct people, especially foreigners, on various procedures. Some embassies such as those of Australia, France, Singapore and Spain also sent staff in charge of consular affairs to support their  citizens.

Meanwhile, nine rescue boats were deployed to evacuate visitors from three small islands off the coast of Lombok. As of August 6 evening, 2,700 people had been evacuated from these islands.

The Indonesian military also sent a hospital ship with medical aid to the Lombok area. A battalion carrying relief was also sent by a Hercules C-130 aircraft to assist quake victims in West Nusa Tenggara.

Aside from search, evacuation and rescue efforts, the Indonesian government has also erected tents, distributed supplies and opened makeshift hospitals providing services around the clock in some places like Mataram city, East Lombok and North Lombok seriously affected by the quake.

The country’s Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency said 176 aftershocks happened after the earthquake in Lombok. The quake has killed 98, injured 236 others and damaged thousands of houses so far. 

According to the Mataram Immigration Office, more than 13,000 foreigners from 74 countries and territories have visited Lombok in the recent days, mainly France, Australia, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.-VNA

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