FG condoles Indonesia over natural disaster

Shanmugam caught in Lombok earthquake that killed 82:

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has opened a call center for foreign tourists and their relatives following a fatal natural disaster that hit West Nusa Tenggara on Sunday.

The natural disaster was centered northeast of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok - a popular tourist destination - 15 kilometers under the surface, said the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics. "We brought in a sniffer dog and used saws and a drill but we can't figure out where he is", said Aprintinus Titus, a rescue worker from the National Search and Rescue Agency.

More than 70,000 people have been left homeless in the deadly quake that hit Lombok island, forced to sleep in makeshift shelters and lacking food, medicine and clean water, authorities said today. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia. Thousands of tourists have left Lombok since Sunday, fearing further earthquakes, some on extra flights provided by airlines and others on ferries to Bali.

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"We extend our sympathy in this moment of pains to the people and the government of Indonesia, we wish you strength and fortitude at this hour of pains", he said.

All tourists in Indonesia's quake-stricken resort island of Lombok, including 39 Chinese citizens, had been evacuated to safe areas by late Monday, according to China's consulate general in Denpasar, Bali. Two holidaymakers died on the largest of the three, Gili Trawangan, where buildings suffered extensive damage.

"We still have no wifi and very little power".

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Evacuation of tourists is underway with 11 boats mobilized, Sutopo told Xinhua in a text message.

The lush countryside of northern Lombok is pockmarked with collapsed homes and shops and damaged mosques.

Early in the morning they heard a weak voice coming from under the pile of bricks and mangled steel bars of a two-storey mosque in Pemenang, where four people were believed to have been trapped. We have a machine that can drill or cut through concrete so we may use that.

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"We're forced to deal with broken bones in the traditional way at home because the hospital had to deal with hundreds of other injuries", said Budhiawan, the village head.

A man and woman at their house which is now in ruins. "We are waiting for heavier equipment", Basarnas official Teddy Aditya told Reuters. Food, medical supplies, tarpaulins and clothes are also urgently needed, it said.

Still, government assistance was barely a trickle in the west Lombok village of Kekait where Zulas Triani, an elementary school teacher who was sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small ration of water.

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