'The whole room started to shake': Couple tell of Indonesia natural disaster terror

Debris of a mosque

A mosque's roof lies on debris from the earthquake with 40 people thought to be inside

Salama, 52, was at a prayer class in the mosque of Karangpangsor village when the 6.9-magnitude quake struck the tropical holiday island on Sunday evening, killing more than 100 people and leaving thousands homeless as buildings collapsed.

A Dunedin couple were among the thousands of tourists caught up in the confusion and panic as they waited to be evacuated from a small island near the coast of Lombok, after the powerful 6.9-magnitude quake struck on Sunday. Water, food and medical supplies were being distributed from lorries.

A woman's body was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed mosque in Bangsal district, in the north of the island.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency put the death toll from Sunday's 6.9-magnitude quake at 131, including two on the western neighbouring island of Bali.

There were fears the death toll would rise as workers with heavy machinery shifted rubble at a collapsed mosque.

An estimate of 156,000 residents are believed to have been displaced due to extensive damage to homes.

"There has been no help at all here", said 36-year-old Multazam, who was staying with hundreds of others under tarpaulins on a dry paddy field outside West Pemenang village.

Zulas Triani, a teacher who is sharing a tent with 30 others, said they had received only a basket with three noodle packets, five eggs and a small amount of water.

An evacuation is now underway on surrounding islands, affecting locals and thousands of tourists.

The quake was also felt in neighboring Bali, another popular tourist spot.

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Tourism directly contributed less than 2% to Indonesia's economy in 2017, far below Thailand and the Philippines, the World Travel and Tourism Council says.

Montgomery-Lay said she and her family have travelled to more than 20 countries after her daughter, Logan Lay, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005, which she has been battling ever since.

"We will tear down our houses, they are too damaged to fix, we will rebuild with plywood and timber, it is safer, cheaper and warmer".

"It took many hours but we're thankful it worked and this person was found alive".

At least 98 people have been killed, with many more missing.

He was hosting a welcoming dinner for his regional counterparts and their delegations from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar when the quake struck. Among the many buildings destroyed on Lombok were two homes which housed around 80 underprivileged children.

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

For instance, a magnitude-7.7 natural disaster and related tsunami hit off the nearby island of Java on July 17, 2006, and on June 2, 1994, a magnitude-7.8 quake and related tsunami hit the area, according to the USGS. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Lombok's airport was now open around the clock and had significantly increased its flight schedule.

Lombok lies on the Ring of Fire, a belt surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is especially prone to earthquakes and volcanoes.

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