Death toll jumps to 347 in 6.9 Indonesia earthquake – report

Death toll jumps to 347 in 6.9 Indonesia earthquake – report
At least 347 people have been confirmed dead after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, according to local media, citing an emergency official.

The death toll was reported at a meeting of authorities earlier on Wednesday, local National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) official Iwan Asmara told Antara News. The BNPB earlier told Reuters that 131 people had died.

Authorities are still searching through the rubble left behind on Lombok Island, still hoping to find survivors.

“We don’t know for sure how many people are alive under the rubble,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters. “There are reports... that there are people buried alive, it is a critical time for immediate evacuation."

The earthquake came just one week after Lombok was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake that killed 17 people.

Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, is regularly hit by earthquakes. More than 120,000 Indonesians were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which led to a total death toll of 226,000 people in 13 countries.

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