A media head and a mother of four, both 56, have perished in a landslide triggered by two earthquakes on the Indonesian island of Lombok. They were among 22 Malaysian tourists visiting the Tiu Kele Senaru waterfall when the disaster struck on Sun. Seven of the group were reportedly injured and 13 confirmed safe.
The first casualty of the disaster was Datin Tai Siew Kim, 56, who had been holidaying with her son and several of her former schoolmates. She was the deputy executive editor-in-chief of a leading Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper Sin Chew Daily and was married to Datuk Teoh Yang Khoon, editor-in-chief of another leading Chinese-language daily China Press.
Their son, who was with Tai when the geohazard struck, has been mildly injured and has received medical treatment in hospital.
The other Malaysian fatality has been identified as Lim Sai Wah, 56, a mother of four. Her body was found between rock debris, according to Indonesia’s Antara news agency. Her husband Tan Ching Chuan, 62, sustained light injuries.
There were actually two earthquakes that had occurred on Sunday, the first one at 2:07 pm with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre had been 24km northeast of East Lombok-West Nusa Tenggara.
The second one had occurred at 2:09 pm with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre 7km northwest of East Lombok-West Nusa.
The effects of the tremor had also been felt in other parts of the island such as North Lombok, Central Lombok and West Lombok, and right up to Denpasar, in neighbouring Bali.
The North Lombok regency administration stated, “There were about 40 tourists affected by the landslide around the area. Most of the victims were Malaysians and domestic tourists.”
Four ambulances and various rescue staff were rushed to the scene to help those affected by the quake and landslide. Rescue teams were able to help 19 people and recover the bodies of the two deceased by later that afternoon.
The Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta confirmed the deaths yesterday via its official Facebook account which stated, “Embassy officers are expected to arrive in Lombok this morning to lend consular assistance to the Malaysian citizens involved in this incident.”
Earlier, the Embassy had also said, “All the other Malaysians affected by the incident have been rescued. They include six injured people who are receiving treatment at a health centre in Lombok.”