7.0 Earthquake Hits Lombok Indonesia
This quake comes 1 week after 14 people died in separate earthquake.
At least 32 people were killed on Sunday when Indonesia’s resort island of Lombok was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
The powerful quake triggered panic among tourists and residents, and was also felt on the neighbouring resort island of Bali. On Lombok, thousands fled from their homes to gather for safety in open spaces.
Agung Pramuja, head of the Disaster Mitigation Agency in the West Nusa Tenggara province, which includes Lombok and neighbouring islands but not Bali, told Reuters 32 people were confirmed dead, many from northern and western parts of Lombok. He said the agency was still collecting data on the injured.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.0, which is classified as “major.” It struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 10.5 kilometres. Its epicentre was about two kilometres east-southeast of Loloan.
It came a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano.
Most of Lombok suffered power outages, local media reported. Travellers at the international airports in Lombok and Bali were thrown into panic and there was minor damage to the buildings, but operations were not disrupted, officials said. The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of houses, hotels and restaurants.
“All the hotel guests were running, so I did too. People filled the streets,” said Michelle Lindsay, an Australian tourist. “A lot of officials were urging people not to panic.”
Other witnesses said the initial quake grew in intensity over several seconds, rattling windows and doors, and there were many aftershocks.
The country’s disaster management agency urged people to stay away from the sea. However, an initial warning of a tsunami with waves of up to half a metre was later withdrawn.
Saffron Amis, a British student visiting the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, told Reuters by text message that dozens of tourists were forced to flee to a hill after the quake.
Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
With files from The Associated Press
Headline Image: Express.co.uk