Indonesian rescuers search for victims after an earthquake struck Pidie Jaya, Aceh. Picture: EPA

Five Cape Town families are anxiously waiting on news from South Africans travelling in Indonesia after an earthquake hit Lombok.

Terrified holidaymakers rushed for boats and planes to leave Indonesia's Lombok island on Tuesday after it suffered a second deadly quake within a week, while rescuers struggled to reach hard-hit areas where survivors are in urgent need of food and shelter.

The government on Tuesday "expressed its condolences" to the government and the people of Indonesia following the loss of lives and injuries suffered after a massive earthquake.

Reports said the 6.9-magnitude quake which struck the Indonesian tourist islands of Lombok on Sunday killed nearly 100 people and left at least 20 000 others homeless.

A mother of one of the Capetonians "missing", who did not want to be identified, said last night: "I last heard from my son from Ubud. They were intending to travel to Lombok on the Monday despite there having been an earthquake on Sunday.

"Unfortunately another earthquake struck Lombok the following day. Neither I or the other families involved have heard from our sons and daughters as they aren't answering their cellphones." 

In a statement issued by Ndivhuwo Mabaya, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said "at this stage" it was aware of five South Africans that were present in the affected area during the earthquake. 

"All five have been accounted for and are safe," said the statement.

Dirco said it was in contact with the South African embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, in order to provide consular support.

More than 20 000 people are believed to have been made homeless on Lombok, with 236 severely injured, and authorities have appealed for more medical personnel and basic supplies.