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Report: Indonesia earthquake death toll close to 400

By Elizabeth Shim
Report: Indonesia earthquake death toll close to 400
Indonesian K-9 dog police officers search for victims at a collapsed house in Tanjung, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, on Wednesday. Photo by Adi Weda/EPA-EFE

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok is climbing, and could reach 400, according to an independent Indonesian news service.

Detik.com reported Thursday the magnitude-6.9 quake that occurred Sunday has resulted in the deaths of 381 people, and 1,033 injured, citing government sources in West Nusa Tenggara, a province of Indonesia.

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Estimates of the death toll is wide ranging. Indonesia's National Agency for Disaster Management, or BNPB, has stated the official count is 131 deaths, far below the reported estimate.

As the region recovers from the devastating quake, the number of casualties could continue to rise. A road near Mount Rinjani, an active volcano, has been badly damaged.

Rinjani was evacuated immediately following another quake on July 29.

Damage to the island's infrastructure has been extensive.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported 42,239 buildings had either collapsed or been badly damaged, and 156,000 people are without shelter.

The earthquake comes at a time when Indonesia is preparing to host the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

Muhammad Zainul Majdi, the governor of West Nusa Tenggara province, said there was a critical need for medical staff, food and medicine, according to Ireland's RTE.

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"We have limited human resources. Some paramedics have to be at the shelters, some need to be mobile," Majdi said.

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