Earthquake leaves 91 dead and hundreds stranded

Chief of the water police of Lombok, Dewa Wijaya, taking a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave Gili Trawangan, north of neighbouring Lombok island, a day after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area.' Picture: AFP PHOTO / Indonesia Water Police /Getty Images
Chief of the water police of Lombok, Dewa Wijaya, taking a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave Gili Trawangan, north of neighbouring Lombok island, a day after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area.' Picture: AFP PHOTO / Indonesia Water Police /Getty Images
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The British government sent consular staff to earthquake-shattered Lombok last night after hundreds of tourists were left stranded.

A magnitude 7.0 quake wreaked destruction across Indonesian islands including Lombok, the Gili archipelago and neighbouring Bali.

At least 91 people were killed as houses were flattened and bridges toppled, authorities said, but none are believed to be foreign nationals.

The Foreign Office said staff were sent to Lombok from the consulate in Bali and embassy in capital Jakarta to assist stranded British tourists.

Extra flights have also been added to help holidaymakers who want to leave, a spokesman added.

Sunday’s disturbance triggered a tsunami warning which led to scenes of panic and later a rush to the coast by those desperate for rescue.

Young families and couples on their honeymoon were among those caught up in the chaos.

Helen Brady, 29, a writer from Manchester, said she and her boyfriend James Kelsall, 28, narrowly escaped death after the earthquake on Gili Trawangan brought buildings crashing down.

She said: “All the lights went out and most buildings (were) demolished.

“If we’d have been one minute slower we’d have been dead, or at the very least severely injured.”

Also affected were celebrities including Take That singer Gary Barlow and model Chrissy Teigen.

Barlow wrote on Twitter that he had been involved in seven earthquakes, but “none have felt more deep and raw” as Sunday’s in Bali.

Teigen, who was travelling with singer husband John Legend and their two children, wrote on Twitter: “Oh man. We are on stilts. It felt like a ride. 15 solid seconds of “hooooooly s*** this is happening.”

Thousands fled to higher ground amid fears a tsunami would surge in following the quake.

Mr Kelsall, from Woodford Green in London, said “All the locals were frantically running and screaming, putting on life jackets.”

He added: “We followed them up to higher ground, which was a steep, uneven climb to the top of a hill in darkness.”

Power had still not been restored to the island by Monday morning, Mr Kelsall said.

Tourists flocking to the coast in search of rescue were confronted by mayhem.

Footage from yesterday morning showed crowds scrambling aboard a boat in a frenzied bid to escape.

Ash Flay, whose sister Katy was stuck on Gili Trawangan said the rescue effort had been a “disgrace” and authorities were demanding money from tourists. She said: “Boats are leaving half empty as you need a ticket. No boats for everyone just selected people. People are punching and hitting each other.”

Others stuck on the island included a family of four from Oxfordshire.

The group included two children, aged five and seven, according to a relative. “The kids are quite traumatised, I’ve spoken to my daughter and she’s clearly very frightened and very scared - frankly they just want to come home,” he said.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “FCO consular staff are deploying to Lombok to provide assistance to those who need it.”