Nearly 700 Stranded on Volcano after Indonesian Earthquake


Nearly 700 hikers, tourists and villagers remain trapped on a volcano following an Indonesian earthquake that killed more than a dozen people.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake sparked landslides on Mount Rinjani, an active volcano that is popular among hikers on Lombok Island. It is more than 12,000 feet high.

Sixteen were killed and more than 1,400 homes destroyed during the quake, according to the Associated Press.

Rescuers are concentrating on those trapped on the mountain. CNN quoted Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency as saying 149 climbers were still trapped on the mountain and 500 people were stranded at Sembalun Village on the volcano’s slopes, blocked from all exits. Another 40 tourists were trapped at Batu Ceper near the mountain.

Tipatai Phusit was one of the hikers on the volcano when the earthquake struck:

“I saw landslides and there were some people falling down. After that I was falling down there, too,” he told CNN.

There have been more than 120 aftershocks following the Sunday morning earthquake.

“We were still sleeping when we felt the earthquake, so we rushed outside of our building,” hotel owner Jean Paul Volchaert told CNN, “There was about 20 seconds of shaking, the water in the pool was making quite large waves.”

His hotel was spared, but the rest of the island wasn’t so fortunate.

“We felt aftershocks for two hours after the initial earthquake, so we’re worried that there could be more damage caused,” he said.

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