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British students survive Lombok earthquake while trekking on top of active volcano in Indonesia



Two British students survived a major earthquake while walking on an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok.

Medical student Anna Stevens and biochemistry graduate Kathryn Coulson, both 21, were on top of Mount Rinjani when the 6.4 earthquake struck Sunday and killed at least 16 people on the island.

They were at the top when the earthquake began and the tour guides told them to run towards the center of the volcano and take refuge behind a rock while the rocks flew by them.

Miss Stevens, from Neasham, and Miss Coulson, from Middleton St George, near Darlington, Co Durham, were trapped in the volcano until Monday because many of the trails and bridges had been destroyed and were among hundreds of tourists trapped there during the night.



Students Anna Stevens (L) and Kathryn Coulson (R) were trapped in the earthquake



The girls were on top of Mount Rinjani when the tremor of 6.4 struck on Sunday, killing at least 16 people on the island

Their families faced an anxious wait until the British Embassy located the former students of the Hurworth School. Finally, the women managed to enter an area to receive a mobile phone signal to call their loved ones.

Miss Coulson's aunt, Victoria Toas, said: "They believed that the volcano was erupting until they spoke to us and we told them it was an earthquake."

"They were absolutely terrified. There were rocks that flew by and then there were replicas. "



Rescuers carry the body of the evacuated climber Mount Rinjani volcano [19659000] (Image: Xinhua / Barcroft Media)


At least 543 tourists were rescued from a mountain in the tourist destination of the island of Lombok

He said that they had known that there had been looting after the earthquake and that there were concerns that the couple did not have passports to leave the island.

But later, he added: " I just spoke with Kathryn and they have located their passports and luggage and are heading to the port. So, fortunately, everything is fine. "

Students saw an army truck heading up the mountain to pick up bodies as they descended, so it was feared that the official death toll would rise.



The Search Team and Rescue of Mataram



The deadly earthquake triggered landslides that trapped hikers in the mountains

The earthquake on Sunday killed 16 people, including an Indonesian student who was among the climbers of Mount Rinjani.

Surface shaking triggered landslides on the rocky slope, blocking normal roads.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency had said that more than 680 people were left stranded in Rinjani, according to figures from its entrance doors where visitors are registered, most are foreigners, from 26 countries, including more than 330 of Thailand.



Hikers descending from Mount Rinjani after people were stranded on the mountain



A woman is helped to safety [19659006] (Image: AFP)

] The Foreign Office said last night that six Britons who registered to climb the mountain confirmed to the officers that they had reached their base safely, but that others were not reported.

More than 1,400 houses were damaged on the island after the tremors hit from a depth, which tends to cause further devastation.

Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency has registered more than 270 replicas.

President Joko Widodo said the family government whose house was destroyed 50 million rupees (£ 2,670) to rebuild.



Rescued hikers arrive at a post in Sembalun, West Nusa Tenggara



Groups of hikers began to make their way down th The slope of a Lombok volcano after the earthquake

Anci, a villager near the epicenter of the earthquake, said he and his family spent the night in a makeshift tent, worried that the replicas could cause more buildings to collapse.

"We slept here on the side of the road because our house collapsed in the earthquake," he said.

"There were many aftershocks, although so far they are not strong, but we hear that earthquakes as strong as the one at dawn can happen and that makes my family and I very nervous and scared."

Like Bali, Lombok is known for its beaches and immaculate mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both places can not exceed the height of the coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arch of volcanoes and faults that surround the Pacific Ocean.

In December 2004, an earthquake of massive magnitude 9.1 in Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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