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Over 500 tourists rescued following Indonesian earthquake

Staff Writer |
At least 543 tourists have been rescued from a mountain in tourist destination of Lombok Island of central Indonesia after a strong quake cut off routes.

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A 6.4-magnitude quake, with an epicenter not far from the base of Mount Rinjani volcano, struck on Sunday and left 16 people dead, 355 others injured, and forced 5,141 to flee home as the jolts have destroyed over 1,000 buildings, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

A total of 189 foreign holidaymakers are among the hikers rescued by a joint-force of Indonesian special military force unit, police and rescuers, Sutopo said.

"All of them were rescued safely and are in a good health condition," he told Xinhua.

Currently, the rescuers have been evacuating 10 other climbers after finding them earlier on Tuesday, said Sutopo.

The spokesman revealed that a total of 1,090 hikers, including 723 foreign climbers, who had been stuck on the mountain after the quake, have headed down the flank of the volcano since Sunday, when the quake took place.

The tourists are from countries including China, the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, he said.

Mount Rinjani volcano, a popular tourist destination, draws hundreds of thousands of climbers every year, according to the government data.

Indonesia is prone to earthquake as it lies on vulnerable quake-affected areas called the Pacific Ring of Fire.

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