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Almost 2,500 people have been taken to hospital with serious injuries and more than 156,000 people are displaced due to the extensive damage to homes.

Lombok had already been hit by a 6.4 magnitude natural disaster on July 29 that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

In a separate statement, BNPB said rescue efforts faced difficulties in the worst-hit area of northern Lombok but provided few details.

"The scale of this quake is massive for us here in West Nusa Tenggara, this is our first experience". "Some paramedics have to be at the shelters, some need to be mobile".

Hundreds of bloodied and bandaged victims have been treated outside damaged hospitals in the main city of Mataram and other badly affected areas.

Arifin Mohammad Hadi, the spokesman of the Red Cross said, "In some villages we visited the destruction was nearly 100 percent, all houses collapsed, roads are cracked and bridges were broken".

Saffron Amis, a British student on Gili Trawangan - the largest of the islands fringed by white beaches and surrounded by turquoise sea - said at least 200 people were stranded there with more flowing in from the other two, Gili Air and Gili Meno.

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Local authorities, worldwide relief groups and the central government have begun organizing aid, but shattered roads have slowed efforts to reach survivors in the mountainous north and east of Lombok, which was hardest hit.

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

Rescuers carry the body of an natural disaster victim recovered from the collapsed Jabal Nur Mosque in North Lombok, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018.

Crews using heavy equipment resumed the search Wednesday for survivors in the mosque, now reduced to pile of concrete and metal bars, with its towering green dome folded in on itself. A dramatic video showed one man being pulled out alive Monday by soldiers.

Aid agency Oxfam said it was providing clean drinking water and tarpaulin shelters to 5,000 survivors, but the need was much greater, with more than 20,000 estimated to have been displaced.

Officials said about 4,600 foreign and domestic tourists had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where two people died and fears of a tsunami spread soon after the quake. Lombok's airport was now open around the clock and had significantly increased its flight schedule.


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