Hundreds stranded on Indonesian volcano after earthquake

Hundreds of people are trapped on a volcano on the Indonesia island Lombok after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck the tourist destination.

Mount Rinjani National Park chief, Sudiyono, said Monday a team of about 165 rescuers is expected to reach a crater lake where the foreign and Indonesian trekkers are trapped by late afternoon.

“Providing food and medicine to them as soon as possible is now our priority,” said Sudiyono, who uses one name.

CNN reports nearly 700 people are trapped on the island. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesperson with Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency said on Twitter at least 260 people were evacuated by Sunday afternoon.

The initial earthquake was followed by 60 smaller quakes, according to the BBC, with the largest reaching a magnitude of 5.7.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the 6.4-magnitude quake was 0.8 miles west of Lelongken, Indonesia, and had a depth of 4.4 miles. Indonesian officials have raised the death toll from the quake to 16.

More than 335 people have been injured, reports Reuters, mostly by buildings collapsed during the quake.

"I thought I was going to die," John Robyn Buenavista, a 23-year-old American, who was at the summit when the quake hit, told Reuters. "I was clinging to the ground. It felt like it lasted forever. I saw people fall off, but it's a blur."

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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