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Indonesia Quake Death Toll Rises to 347

Indonesia Quake Death Toll Rises to 347

The death toll in Sunday's devastating earthquake on Indonesia's Lombok island has risen to 347, the state-run Antara news agency reported Wednesday.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told the news agency that another 1,447 people had been injured and more than 165,000 had been displaced.

The majority of the deaths occurred in Kayangan, on the north side of the island, Antara reported.

The numbers increased as reports came in from areas isolated by the 6.9 magnitude quake, which struck off the waters of the northern part of Lombok island. The quake was also felt on the neighboring Gili Islands as well as Bali, Sumbawa and parts of East Java.

On Tuesday, the government estimated that 80 percent of the buildings in northern Lombok had been destroyed.

Thousands of tourists have been evacuated from Lombok and the Gili Islands.

Nugroho said the death toll was expected to rise as search-and-rescue crews reached more affected areas and began to search the rubble for more victims.

Last week, 17 people were killed when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Lombok.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for its pristine beaches and mountains.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire,'' an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean basin. In December 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

(VOA)

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