Indonesia quake: almost 500 hikers evacuated from volcano

Hundreds of hikers still stranded after Lombok quake

In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 natural disaster off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

A total of 5,141 people are staying in temporary shelters and in need of clean water, Indonesian disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told MetroTV.

Hundreds of people, including a group of 239 from Thailand, are now making their way down a mountain on which they have been trapped since Sunday's natural disaster.

The remaining 500 or so hikers were able to start climbing down on Monday after guides discovered an alternate route that was unaffected by the landslides.

Hundreds managed to find a way down on Sunday and over 500 more reached safety Monday night.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck early on Sunday not far from the base of the mountain.

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One of the climbers, Siti Hidayah Zainuddin, 38, said during the tragedy, she was with 19 other and they were arranging their backpacks before continuing with their expedition to the top of Mount Rinjani.

Officials initially claimed no hikers were among those dead or injured, however Miss Coulson and Miss Stevens said they saw army truck heading up the mountain to collect bodies as they descended.

One of the two bodies recovered by rescuers yesterday was that of climber Muhammad Ainul Muksin, 26, who died in a landslide during the natural disaster.

At 12,224 feet above sea level, Rinjani is the second-highest mountain in Indonesia, and is considered one of country's best sightseeing destinations.

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. Officials said 280 aftershocks followed the initial quake.

Indonesia is particularly prone to seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a chain of volcanoes and fault lines.

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