Earthquake lifts island by one-foot above sea level in Indonesia

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The Hush Post: The recent powerful earthquake in Indonesian took more than 300 lives. But it also lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimetres.

Using satellite images of Lombok from the days following the August 5 quake, scientists from NASA and the California Institute of Technology’s joint rapid imaging project made a ground deformation map and measured changes in the surface of the island. In the northwest of the island near the epicentre, the rupturing faultline lifted the earth by close to one foot. In other places, it dropped by 5-15 centimetres (2-6 inches).

About 2,70,000 people were rendered homeless or displaced after the earthquake, which damaged about 68,000 homes.

About a week since the quake, Lombok is still reeling but glimmers of normality are returning and villagers are making plans for temporary replacements of mosques that were got razed to the ground.

In Tanjung, one of the worst affected places in the north of the island, a food market opened Saturday and locals bought vegetables and fish. Some shops also opened for business despite being in damaged buildings.

“I had to borrow money from someone to buy morning glory to be resold here,” said Natbudi, one of the market vendors. “If I just stay at the camp and don’t come here to sell then I don’t have money to buy rice.”

Lombok, a popular and less developed tourist destination than neighbouring Bali, was hit by three strong tremors in over a week and has endured more than 500 aftershocks.

A July 29 quake killed 16 people. An aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 on Thursday caused panic, more damage and more than two dozen injuries.

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