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SEMBALUN, Indonesia, August 19, 2018 (AP) — A strong earthquake jolted the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, causing landslides on Mount Rinjani and damaging buildings, as it tries to recover from a temblor earlier this month that killed 460 people.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake, which was centered in the northeast of the tourist island, at magnitude 6.3 and a depth of 7 kilometers. It was felt on the neighbouring island of Bali and was preceded a few minutes earlier by a magnitude 5.4 quake, also in Lombok's northeast.

An Associated Press reporter on Lombok said the tremor caused landslides on the slopes of Rinjani and panic in villages. Video shot by the Indonesian Red Cross showed huge clouds of dust billowing from the mountain's slopes.

The shaking toppled motorcycles and there was damage to buildings in Sembalun subdistrict, including a community hall that collapsed. It had sustained damage in earlier quakes, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Homes and a mosque were also damaged, he said.

He said so far there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities but information is still being collected.

A magnitude 7.0 quake on Aug. 5 killed 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced several hundred thousand people on Lombok.

Mount Rinjani has been closed to visitors following a July earthquake that killed 16 people, triggered landslides and stranded hundreds of tourists on the mountain, an active volcano.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

JAKARTA, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Indonesia president Joko Widodo declared the 18th Asian Games open in a glittering ceremony on Saturday, launching what promises to be a frenetic fortnight of breathless sporting action featuring the best of the continent's athletes.

Some 13,000 athletes will compete in 40 sports and 67 disciplines, including new additions such as bridge, jet skiing and roller skating in the biggest multi-sport extravaganza outside the Olympics.

"I hereby declare the 18th Asian Games 2018 open," Widodo said in front of a 50,000-plus crowd at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium.

Esports debuts as an official demonstration sport in Indonesia, which volunteered to host the Games after Vietnam pulled out in 2014 because of financial concerns.

North and South Korea marched together at the opening ceremony and will field joint teams in several events. Kuwait will participate under their own flag a couple of days after the International Olympic Committee lifted their ban.

The Games, which conclude on Sept. 2, are the first co-hosted by two cities with Palembang on the island of Sumatra acting as venue for some sports along with the capital Jakarta.

 

JAKARTA, August 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Indonesia's holiday island of Lombok suffered damage running into more than $342 million from last week's huge earthquake, authorities said on Monday, as the death toll climbed to more than 430.

More than 350,000 people fled their homes after the 6.9-magnitude quake to shelter in government-provided tents or makeshift structures in open fields. Authorities say aid is slow in getting to some of the hardest-hit areas as they are remote.

"The damage and losses are huge," Sutopo Nugroho, the spokesman of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement.

"It will take trillions of rupiah...and a lot of time to heal the lives of the people and the economy of Nusa Tenggara Barat," he said, referring to the province home to Lombok.

Residential homes and public infrastructure suffered the bulk of the damage, he added.

On Monday, President Joko Widodo visited the island, which lies just east of Bali, the southeast Asian country's most famous tourist destination, for the second time since a slightly smaller quake on July 29.

He has called for search operations and relief efforts to be stepped up.

"I have ordered that the evacuation of victims who have not yet been found be made a priority," Widodo said in a statement at the weekend.

JAYAPURA, Indonesia, August 12, 2018 (News Wires) — A 12-year-old boy is the only survivor from the crash of a light commercial plane in a mountainous region of Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua that left eight other passengers dead, rescuers said Sunday.

The Swiss-made Pilatus PC-6 Porter single-engine plane operated by Dimonin Air was reported missing Saturday during a 45-minute flight from Tanah Merah in Boven Digul district to Oksibil, the district capital of Pegunungan Bintang, bordering Papua New Guinea. The local army chief said Sunday the plane crashed near Oksibil airport.

Col. Jonathan Binsar Sianipar said the boy, identified only as Jumaidi, was the only passenger found alive and was evacuated to the Oksibil hospital. A statement from the army said the boy was conscious but gave no other details.

The plane with two pilots and seven passengers lost contact after communicating with the control tower in Oksibil just before it was due to land Saturday afternoon, said local police chief Lt. Col. Michael Mumbunan.

The cause of the crash was not clear.

Airplanes are the only practical way of accessing many areas in the mountainous and jungle-clad easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.

MATARAM, Indonesia, August 11, 2018 (News Wires) - An earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has killed 387 people, authorities said Saturday, adding hundreds of thousands of displaced people were still short of clean water, food and medicine nearly a week on.

The shallow 6.9-magnitude quake Sunday levelled tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok, just one week after another tremor surged through the island and killed 17.

"It's predicted the death toll will continue to grow because there are still victims who are suspected of being buried by landslides and under rubble, and there are victims that have not been recorded and reported to posts," national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

The number forced from their homes in the disaster has soared to 387,000, Nugroho said, with around 13,000 injured.

The hardest hit region of Lombok has been in the north, where 334 people have died and nearly 200,000 have been forced from their homes, according to latest official tolls.

Two people were also killed by the quake on the neighbouring tourist island of Bali.

Nugroho said the emergency response period has been extended another 14 days, which would allow authorities to deal with the "many problems" that still existed in the field.

Most of the displaced are sleeping under tents or tarpaulins near their ruined homes or in evacuation shelters, while makeshift medical facilities have been set up to treat the injured.

Six days after the quake hit some evacuees have still not received assistance, particularly in the mountainous north of the island.

"The main problem is the distribution of supplies to thousands of refugee points," Nugroho said.

"Most of the roads in North Lombok were damaged by the earthquake."

Survivors of the quake have been shaken by hundreds of aftershocks, including a shallow 5.9-magnitude quake Thursday which caused people to flee evacuation shelters crying and screaming.

 

JAKARTA, Aug 6, 2018 (News Wires) — Indonesian president Joko Widodo led some 65,000 of his compatriots in a mass dance through the streets of Jakarta yesterday to promote the Asian Games and try to set a world record along the way.

Jakarta and the city of Palembang on Sumatra will jointly host Asia's biggest sporting event from August 18 but President Widodo has previously complained about the lack of promotion and enthusiasm in the country.

In a bid to drum up support ahead of the games authorities turned to the poco-poco, a traditional line dance from North Sulawesi province.

Dressed in white and red — the colour of the Indonesian flag — President Widodo, his wife Iriana, and several high ranking officials led tens of thousands of Indonesians in a long, snaking line of dancers through the capital.

Organisers hope to break the world record for the largest number of people performing the traditional dance in one place and said 65,000 people took part in Jakarta.

“Poco-poco is the original culture of Indonesia and it's a native dance, so we are now performing a mass Poco-poco dance with 65,000 people setting the world record showing and reiterating Poco-poco belongs to Indonesia,” police chief Tito Karnavian who took part in the event said.

Police and military staff, members of parliament, students, members of fitness centres as well as inmates in jails across Indonesia all showed their best Poco-poco moves at the same.

“This a very good opportunity to show that Indonesia is conserving its traditions,” high school student Raja Farid Akbar said. “I am happy that I can help promote a tradition that could have been forgotten.”

About 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries are expected to flock to Jakarta and Palembang for the August 18 to September 2 Games, the world's biggest multi-sport event behind the Olympics.

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