News World Australians wait for navy evacuation on quake-hit island

Australians wait for navy evacuation on quake-hit island

Rescuers search for survivors after the Lombok earthquake. Photo: Getty
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Australian diplomats are working with the Indonesian navy to evacuate about 150 Australians still stranded on the Gili islands after the Lombok earthquake.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was on the way to Bali on Sunday when the earthquake hit, killing 105 people.

“The Indonesian government has not sought assistance from us but we, of course, would be prepared to consider any request that they made as our friends and neighbours,” Ms Bishop said on Wednesday.

An Australian consular official was sent to help the Indonesian navy evacuate about 150 Australian holiday-makers from the three Gili islands, which can only be reached by boat.

Ms Bishop said Lombok airport was still open for Australians wishing to leave the “devastated” islands.

The Indonesian Red Cross has been given access to Australian emergency supplies to help those in urgent need.

Thousands of survivors are still waiting for food, water and tents.

The dead are all Indonesians while among the 200 injured are a British citizen, one Dane, one American, one French, one Belgian, one Czech and one South Korean.

The spokesperson for the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said on Tuesday that the death toll is expected to increase.

Most of the victims died in northern Lombok, where numerous houses and mosques collapsed. Emergency services are working to locate survivors as well as recover the bodies.

On the road to the north of the island, locals were asking for money to help the victims amid collapsed buildings.

Dozens of injured people are being treated in tents temporarily set up near Tanjung hospital in the northwest of the island, as the centre was damaged by the quake and was evacuated.