Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Facebook sorry that balloons appeared in Indonesia natural disaster messages

Facebook sorry that balloons appeared in Indonesia natural disaster messages

Facebook has apologised after confetti and balloons automatically appeared on posts about an natural disaster in Indonesia.

The rise in death toll comes as Facebook apologises for automatically decorating posts about the deadly quake with images of balloons and confetti on the social media platform.

Upon being alerted to the insensitive feature, Facebook disabled the animation for the Indonesian language.

"However we regret that it appeared in this unfortunate context and have since turned off the feature locally".

An imam continued to pray and lead worshippers while a huge quake tore through the mosque in the Indonesian resort of Bali, eliciting praises from every corner of the internet as the video of the incident went viral on social media.

The death toll from Monday's 6.9 magnitude natural disaster on the Indonesian island of Lombok has risen dramatically overnight to 347, with state-run news agency Antara issuing the new figure.

Almost 1,500 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement that information being provided by different agencies needs to be complete before it can be cross-checked and officially verified. It also reported a 5.4-magnitude quake at 2.21am on Tuesday, close to the site of Sunday's 6.9-magnitude quake.

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"The corpses are starting to smell and we believe some people buried are still alive - that's why it's a critical time", Nugroho said.

The quake was the second in a week to hit Lombok.

Hundreds of bloodied and bandaged victims have been treated outside damaged hospitals in the island's main city of Mataram and other badly affected areas. "Some paramedics have to be at the shelters, some need to be mobile", Majdi told AFP. He asked me for help, but I couldn't help him, we just ran to help ourselves, ' Johriah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP tearfully.

The military said five planes carrying food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers left Jakarta for the island early Wednesday.

At an orphanage in West Lombok, some 80 children - including a one-year-old - were huddling under two large tents after their dorms were destroyed.

A woman's body was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed mosque on Wednesday morning in Bangsal district in the north of the island.

A green and yellow dome rested on the pile of rubble, the only part of the structure still intact.

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.

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