Hundreds stranded on Mount Rinjani

Hundreds stranded on Mount Rinjani

Hundreds of people trapped on a volcano on the Indonesia island Lombok were making their way off the mountain Monday after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the tourist destination, killing 16 people.

By late afternoon, more than 250 people had reached a relief post in Sembalun village,  and a team of rescuers reached hundreds more near the mountain’s crater lake, a local military official, Arifianto, told Indonesian TV.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency had said more than 680 people were stranded on Rinjani, an active volcano.

The initial earthquake on Sunday was followed by 60 smaller quakes, according to the BBC, with the largest reaching magnitude 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.

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

“I thought I was going to die,” John Robyn Buenavista, 23, an 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 because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean. In December 2004, a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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