Scores die in Indonesian earth quake

329

At least 91 people are now known to have died after a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok.

Hundreds of people have been wounded by Sunday’s quake, officials say, mostly in the north of the island.

The 6.9 magnitude tremor was fairly shallow, occurring only 30km (18 miles) underground. It damaged thousands of buildings and triggered power cuts.

About 1,000 foreign tourists are being evacuated from the nearby Gili islands and at least one person died on Bali.

Video footage from Bali, to the west of Lombok, showed people running from their homes screaming.

There have been more than 130 aftershocks since the quake hit on Sunday morning.

A tsunami warning was issued but was lifted after a few hours.

It comes a week after another quake hit Lombok, popular with tourists who visit its beaches and hiking trails. That quake killed at least 16 people.

‘Everyone is panicking’

Lombok is a roughly 4,500 sq km (1,700 sq miles) island east of the slightly larger island of Bali.

In pictures: Damaged homes and evacuations in Lombok
The two islands are home to about three and four million people respectively, but each year are visited by millions of tourists from around the globe.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency told the AFP news agency that many buildings had been affected in Lombok’s main city of Mataram. Most of them had been built with weak construction materials.

Mataram residents described a powerful jolt that sent people fleeing into the streets.

“Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking,” one resident named as Iman said.

In several parts of Mataram, there were electricity blackouts.

Patients at the city hospital, and also at Denpasar hospital in Bali, were evacuated and tended to by doctors in the streets.

Debris littered the streets of Lombok and Bali, which local people sought to clean up in the hours after the quake.

Bali tremor

The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali. One worker in Denpasar described the scene to the BBC.

“They were initially just little shocks but then they started to get bigger and bigger and people started to shout ‘earthquake’, then all the staff panicked and rushed out of the building,” the unnamed man said.

Model and presenter Chrissy Teigen, who is on holiday in Bali, described 15 seconds of a tremor, followed by “so many aftershocks”.

Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was in Lombok for a security conference when the earthquake struck.

He described on Facebook how his hotel room shook violently. “It was quite impossible to stand up,” he said.

source: BBC

Disclaimer: Comments expressed on this web site are those of the commenter alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of the blogger