Multiple earthquakes – including a powerful and shallow 6.9-magnitude tremor – rocked the Indonesian island of Lombokon Sunday, killing at least five people and setting off fresh waves of panic.
The quakes triggered landslides, damaged buildings and sent people fleeing just two weeks after a tremor killed more than 480 people there and made hundreds of thousands homeless.
A series of quakes were recorded by seismologists throughout Sunday, the first measuring 6.3 shortly before midday.
It was followed nearly 12 hours later by a quake measuring 6.9 and at least five more significant aftershocks, according to the US Geological Survey.
Local disaster agency spokesman Agung Pramuja said five people were killed by the quake late Sunday evening, two in eastern Lombok and three on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa.
“So far five people died and scores of people are injured. We are still collecting data on the exact number,” Pramuja told AFP on Monday.
Officials have evacuated a number of patients from a hospital in Sumbawa island for fear of worse destruction.
Blackouts had hit much of Lombok, according to a spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, who posted pictures of cracked roads and video footage of a large fire that broke out in a village on Sumbawa.
One Lombok resident said the powerful tremor jolted him awake.
“The earthquake was incredibly strong. Everything was shaking,” Agus Salim told AFP.
“We were all sleeping in an evacuation tent. I had just fallen asleep when suddenly it started to shake…. Everyone ran into the street screaming and crying.”
A dozen foreign guests at the hotel Lina Senggigi, which is in a popular tourist spot, were ushered out of the building as the quake struck.
“The jolt was strong and quite long… Tonight we will ask our guests to sleep in the parking lot. It’s safer that way,” a staff member told Kompas TV. Source Link