More than 500 hikers and their guides are reported trapped after a major earthquake on the island of Lombok.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday morning has killed at least 16 people and injured more than 150, while more than 500 tourists and their guides are believed to be trapped on volcanic Mount Rinjani.
Situated around 40 kilometres east of Bali, Lombok is popular for its beaches and its walking trails. A spokesperson for the national park said 500 were trapped in the Segara Anakan area and a further 60 in Batu Ceper.
Since the main earthquake, the island has been rocked by more than 120 smaller earthquakes and aftershocks.
The people who are trapped on the mountain include foreign nationals as well as local walkers, the Guardian newspaper reports.
Among the foreign ministries updating their guidance following the quake, the UK Foreign Office says: “On 29 July, the north east of the island of Lombok experienced a series of earthquakes and aftershocks resulting in a number of casualties.
“Search and rescue operations are ongoing. If you are in the area, you should monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.”
Rising 3,726 metres above sea level, Rinjani’s peak is the second tallest volcano in Indonesia and has long been a favourite among sightseers keen to take in its stunning views.
Helicopters and rescue teams on foot are searching the slopes of Mount Rinjani for the missing groups.
The quake also badly hit the Gili islands off northeast Lombok, popular with honeymooners, divers and partygoers, the news agency AFP reports.