Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Family caught up in quake disaster

Family caught up in quake disaster

A FAMILY of four from Henley have been caught up in the Indonesian earthquake which killed at least 150 people.

The 6.9 magnitude quake hit Lombok on Sunday, flattening thousands of buildings and displacing more than 156,000 people.

It was followed by a 5.2 magnitude tremor less than 24 hours later.

The death toll is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.

The Henley family, who haven’t been named, comprise a couple and two children, aged seven and five, who were visiting the nearby island of Gili Trawangan.

It has been reported that they had witnessed looting and panic after the earthquake but that they were now in a hotel with access to water.

The father of the 38-year-old mother reportedly said: “We’ve been looking at trying to charter helicopters to get them off the island but we’ve heard now they’re booked up until August 15.

“My daughter did say there was looting going on but we’ve had another message to say the authorities had taken control and some order had been resumed.

“The kids are quite traumatised. I’ve spoken to my daughter and she’s clearly very frightened and very scared — frankly they just want to come home.”

He said the family has also been caught up in another quake which hit Lombok last week, killing 16 people.

“They’ve had two quakes in less than a week,” he said. “I think it’s going to be Brighton or Devon next year for them.”

British tourists in Indonesia have reported that officials are demanding money to transport them to safety.

Scenes became violent and holidaymakers were seen throwing punches.

Thousands are awaiting evacuation on the Gili archipelago, which off the coast of Lombok, and there were reports of rioting.

Pictures showed exhausted tourists sprawled out asleep on the floor of the country’s Praya International Airport awaiting flights home.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to the Gili Islands.

It said: “There has been damage to buildings and casualties in Lombok and the Gili Islands and some minor damage to buildings in parts of Bali.

“The Indonesian authorities have been assisting residents and visitors who wish to leave the Gili Islands via boat following the earthquake.

“These boat services are being phased out as the number of people wishing to leave has reduced.

“There is a risk of aftershocks, which could cause further damage to buildings and pose risks to safety.

“In the event of serious injury, access to immediate medical assistance on the islands is extremely limited.”

A spokesman said: “We are working with the Indonesian authorities to provide assistance to British people caught up in the earthquake in Lombok and the Gili islands.

“Consular staff are deploying to Lombok to provide assistance to those who need it.

“Bali and Lombok airports are open and running a full service. Extra flights are being added to help people who wish to leave Lombok.

“Anyone travelling to the area should check the latest travel advice which is being regularly updated.”

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