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Lombok hit by 5.9 magnitude tremor days after deadly earthquake

CNN logo CNN 8/9/2018 By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Slideshow by photo services

Four days after a massive earthquake killed at least 347 people on the Indonesian island of Lombok, a 5.9 magnitude tremor hit the island, sending frightened residents onto the streets.

Thursday's seismic event follows a 6.9 magnitude quake Sunday that flattened homes and stranded thousands of people on Lombok's northern coast and the nearby Gili Islands.

North Lombok, the more residential and less developed part of the island compared to the resort-filled south, was devastated by the Sunday quake. Some villages in the region were completely destroyed, witnesses told CNN.

Aid has been slow to trickle in, due to damage to roads leading to the affected areas and the relatively remote location of the island. Rescue workers have been searching debris for days in the hope of finding people alive amid the rubble.

Hundreds who survived Sunday's quake are huddled in evacuation centers where they sleep on plastic mats. Food is scarce and some of the children are eating crackers dipped in chili sauce.

Many survivors are still traumatized from the Sunday quake, aid workers told CNN, afraid to return indoors in case there's a powerful aftershock.

"More damage, more trauma, more loss — people are scared," said Endri Susanto, who runs a nongovernmental organization assisting with relief efforts in Lombok. "People are very scared to go to their houses and very scared to stay in their houses."

Susanto told CNN by phone that people started screaming when Thursday's quake hit. Soon after, ambulances started whizzing by, sounding their sirens. He said friends in central Lombok had told him that houses there had started to crack.

The earthquake felt very strong in Mataram, a city on Lombok's west coast, Susanto said. It could also be felt on Bali, another popular resort island in Indonesia to Lombok's west.

A third quake

Indonesia is no stranger to earthquakes. The archipelago is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) area of intense seismic and volcanic activity where most of the world's earthquakes occur.

Lombok itself has been hit with three major quakes in less than two weeks. A shallow, 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck on July 29, killing more than a dozen people and stranding hundreds on top of Mount Rinjani, a popular hiking area.

But it was the second one that was the most devastating. It was so destructive that Susanto told CNN he thought Thursday's quake would not cause much damage in the north, as most buildings had already collapsed.

More than 165,000 people have been displaced since the Sunday temblor, Indonesia National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Nearly 1,500 were injured, he said.

Sunday's quake also stranded tourists on Lombok and the popular Giili Islands to its west, famous for its white sand beaches and clear waters. Photos from Indonesian rescue authorities showed thousands of people crowded on the beach awaiting rescue.

CNN's Stella Ko, Yazhou Sun and Sarah Faidell contributed to this report

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