500 climbers still trapped on Mt Rinjani

East Lombok, W. Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) – At least 500 domestic and international climbers are still trapped in Lake Segara Anak on Mt Rinjani after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Lombok Island on early Sunday.

Commander of the East Lombok Military Command Lt Col Inf. Agus Setiandar stated here on Monday that some 500 climbers were stranded in Lake Segara Anak as the landslide had closed the trail, while some 60 climbers were trapped in the Ceper Pelawangan area.

“They are still there now, and we cannot as yet confirm the condition. An evacuation team has been deployed this morning,” he stated.

At around 8 a.m. local time, a joint team comprising the military, police, search and rescue team, porters, and paramedics was deployed to rescue the climbers in both Lake Segara Anak and Ceper Pelawangan.

Meanwhile, Commander of West Nusa Tenggara Wira Bhakti military command Col. Czi Ahmad Rizal Ramdhani noted that the TNI had deployed 140 personnel of the Armys special forces Kopassus to assist in the evacuation.

“They will climb from Sembalun in East Lombok District to the locations where the climbers were stranded,” he noted.

The evacuation process could be started soon after the climbers were found.

“If we could locate the climbers today, the evacuation process could be completed by tomorrow afternoon at the latest, moreover, with the deployment of additional personnel from Kopassus,” he noted.

The 3,726-metre-high Mount Rinjani is the second-largest volcano in Indonesia and a popular destination for adventurous climbers.

The quake hit Lombok and Sumawa Islands on Sunday at 6:47 a.m. local time but did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami.

The death toll from the 6.4-magnitude earthquake has reached 16 as of Sunday.

The death toll included nine in East Lombok District, four in North Lombok District, a Malaysian tourist, and a climber from South Sulawesi Province.

Source: ANTARA News