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Strong aftershock hits Indonesian island of Lombok

Strong aftershock hits Indonesian island of Lombok

"We are still waiting for assessments from some of the more remote areas in the north of the island, but it is already clear that Sunday's quake was exceptionally destructive", Christopher Rassi, the head of a Red Cross assessment team on Lombok, said in a statement.

The governor of the province that includes Lombok where the quake was centered, the military, the national search and rescue agency and regent of North Lombok issued different death tolls that ranged from 226 to 381.

"I visited villages yesterday that were completely collapsed", he said, while other teams in East and North Lombok had reported villages where 75% of homes were damaged.

'Our hearts go out to the people affected by the natural disaster'.

He has said several times that the number of deaths will increase.

"We don't know for sure how many people are alive under the rubble", BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters.

The death toll from Lombok's powerful quake rose to 142 as rescuers found more people crushed under collapsed buildings, though some still held out hope of finding survivors.

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An inter-agency meeting will be held Thursday to compare information, Mr Nugroho said.

More than 345 people are now reported to have died in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude quake which struck the island of Lombok last week, and many have taken to social media to show their support or reach out to friends and family.

Indonesian disaster relief authorities are trying to find food, potable water, and medical care for the 1,477 people severely injured and the 156,000 forced to evacuate their homes due to the disaster.

Thousands of people have been sleeping in makeshift shelters or out in the open.

The military said five planes carrying food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers left Jakarta for the island early Wednesday.

Like its famous neighbor Bali, Lombok is known for beaches, mountains and a lush interior. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 natural disaster off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.