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Lombok: Dozens die as quake again hits Indonesian island

Lombok: Dozens die as quake again hits Indonesian island

  • 5 August 2018
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Media captionMoment the quake struck caught on camera

At least 37 people have died after a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok, officials say.

The 7 magnitude quake damaged buildings and triggered power cuts. More than 50 people were also injured.

On the neighbouring island of Bali, video footage showed people running from their homes screaming.

It comes a week after another quake hit Lombok, a popular tourist site for its beaches and hiking trails, killing at least 16 people.

The US Geological Survey said the latest quake, off the north coast of Lombok, struck 10km (6.21 miles) underground.

A tsunami warning was issued in its aftermath but it was lifted several hours later.

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 built with weak construction materials.

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Mataram residents described a powerful jolt that sent people fleeing from buildings.

"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.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hospital patients were looked after in the streets after the earthquake
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There was a feeling of panic as the earthquake hit

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

The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of buildings.

A worker in Bali's capital city 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.

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.

Airports on both islands are both operating normally despite some minor damage - at Bali's Denpasar airport some ceiling panels were shaken loose by the tremors.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

A magnitude 6.5 quake struck off the north-east coast of Sumatra island in 2016, killing dozens of people and displacing more than 40,000.