Mass Evacuation from Gili T After Fatal Earthquake

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Evacuation from Gili T on Monday

More than a 1,000 tourists were being evacuated from the diving resort of Gili Trawangan after an earthquake on Sunday caused extensive damage and reported fatalities.

The  6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the nearby island of Lombok and early reports said at least 91 people had died. The quake also caused damage to Bali nearly 100 miles away. 

The earthquake on Sunday struck at 6:46 p.m. local time, and was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks, including one on Monday morning that registered a magnitude of 5.4

Regular DIVE correspondent Alfie Minnaar, who is based at Manta Dive on Gili T, sent a message to DIVE in London after the quake saying: 'Gili has been hit by a really bad earthquake. Quite a few people are dead, buildings have collapsed.' 

He said they were working through the night helping people who had been injured. 

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Tourists crowd on the beach waiting to get onto evacuation boats. Photo 

A tweet from the head of the Disaster Mitigation Agency in Indonesia said 1,000 foreign tourists were being evacuated from the islands. 'Some of them are hurt and are in shock,' I Nyoman Sidakarya told a local television station.

'We cannot evacuate all of them all at once because we don't have enough capacity on the boats,' Muhammad Faozal, of West Nusa Tenggara's tourism agency, told AFP.

'It's understandable they want to leave the Gilis, they are panicking.'

One mother Helen Milne told the BBC that her daughter, Laura, from Oxfordshire, is on  Gili T. She said: 'They are stuck on the island and are reporting rioting, fighting, and people can't get on boats. There's no water, no food, the shops have been ransacked. It's a rapidly deteriorating situation out there for them.'

Another Briton on Gili Trawangan, James Kelsall, told the Press Association the subsequent tsunami warning was the most terrifying part.

'All the locals were frantically running and screaming, putting on life jackets. We followed them up to higher ground, which was a steep, uneven climb to the top of a hill in darkness.

The tsunami warning was lifted after a few hours.







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