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Final hikers rescued from Indonesian volcano, after devastating earthquake

More than 600 stranded hikers have been successfully rescued from Mount Rinjani on Indonesia's Lombok Island...

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 11:05 AM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 11:05 AM

More than 600 stranded hikers have been successfully rescued from Mount Rinjani on Indonesia's Lombok Island, two days after a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist destination.

The final six hikers were brought down from the mountain Tuesday morning, confirmed National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, following a massive combined rescue effort involving almost 200 Indonesian police, military and medical personnel.

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The hikers had become trapped on the mountain's numerous hiking routes after the earthquake, which struck early Sunday, unleashed a series of landslides blocking their path back down to safety.

Hundreds of foreign hikers were among the 600 rescued from the 3,726 meter (12,224 ft) mountain, said Nugroho.

It is not known whether those rescued from the mountain will require additional medical treatment. Tipatai Phusit, a hiker from Thailand, who was on top of Mount Rinjani when the earthquake hit, tolD CNN said he saw a number of people hit by rocks and debris.

The toll of the earthquake, which killed 16 people and left hundreds of others homeless, is still being counted across the rest of the popular tourist spot.

During a visit to the island Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced each damaged property would receive 50 million rupiah ($3468) in aid to help them rebuild, according to state news agency Antara.

"The provincial governor will announce the total amount of everything (damages), and the aid will be allocated in the form of cash to let the residents build their damaged houses on their own," the Indonesian president said.

Early estimates indicated more than 1,000 homes had been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake.

Earthquake struck while residents slept

A local hotel owner told CNN many residents were still asleep when the quake struck at 5.45 a.m. local time Sunday (6:45 p.m. Saturday ET).

At least 162 people were left injured following the tremor, 94 severely according to the Indonesian Red Cross.

Indonesia is no stranger to destructive earthquakes, sitting on the area of intense seismic and volcanic activity known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The 40,000 kilometer (25,000 mile) area stretches from Japan and Indonesia on one side of the Pacific, all the way across to California on the other.

But Jean Paul Volchaert, who owns Lombok's Puncak Hotel, said it was the strongest one he had felt in his time on the island.

Videos provided to CNN by a Thai trekking group, Trekmania, who were on Mount Rinjani when the earthquake struck, showed enormous clouds of dust covering the slopes of the mountains, triggered by landslides.

Aid delivered

Among the dead was a 30-year-old female Malaysian tourist, Antara said, who Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail mourned in a statement Sunday.

Deputy Head of Mission Zamshari Sahaharan at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta said they were encouraging all Malaysian who knew tourists in Lombok to contact consular officials.

He said the Malaysian government was ready to provide further aid to their Indonesian counterparts as necessary.

Indonesian Red Cross said it had almost 100 volunteers on the ground in Lombok, delivering aid to residents recovering from the disaster.

Hundreds of blankets and hygiene kits were being distributed as of Monday, according to the group, along with 1 hundred million rupiah ($7000) in emergency funds.

The Indonesian government has been working to supply mineral water, tents and food supplies to the affected, according to Antara.

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