Facebook sorry that balloons appeared in Indonesia quake messages

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A strong aftershock struck Indonesia's Lombok on Thursday, causing panic among evacuees sheltering after a devastating natural disaster killed more than 160 on the holiday island four days earlier.

The first quake, a 6.9 magnitude event, killed almost 350 people, according to Indonesian state media.

Indonesia's geological agency said the quake on Thursday afternoon had a magnitude of 6.2 and was shallow, at a depth of 12 kilometres, centred in the north-west of the island. The agency says it is has not verified these other figures but expects the toll to climb.

The US Geological survey reported a 5.2-magnitude quake just off the coast of Lombok between the tourist town of Senggigi and the Gili Islands on Monday at 11.50pm.

While exchanging messages on Facebook about the natural disaster, many Indonesian speakers used the word "selamat", which has several meanings including "safe", "unhurt" or "congratulations" depending on the context.

Spokesman Arifin Hadi said people need clean water and tarpaulins most of all.

A total of 164 people were now confirmed dead in the quake, Nugroho told AFP, with a further 1,400 seriously injured and more than 150,000 displaced.

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The Indonesian Red Cross said it was focusing its Lombok quake relief efforts on an estimated 20,000 people in remote areas in the north of the island where aid still has not reached.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there are reports of other deaths but they still need to be verified. "I do hope the government can help", she said.

Volunteers and rescue personnel were erecting more temporary shelters for the over 80,000 people left homeless on Lombok by the magnitude 7.0 quake on Sunday evening.

A July 29 quake on Lombok killed 16 people.

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

Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, is regularly hit by earthquakes.

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