Strong Earthquake Hits Indonesia’s Lombok Island, Killing at Least 14 People


A strong and shallow earthquake early Sunday killed at least 14 people and injured more than 160 on Indonesia’s Lombok island, a popular tourist destination next to Bali, officials said.

The quake damaged more than 1,000 houses and was felt in a wider area, including on Bali, where no damage or casualties were reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of only 7 kilometers (4.4 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to do more damage than deeper ones.

East Lombok district was the hardest hit with 10 deaths, including a Malaysian tourist, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency. The number of casualties could increase as data was still being collected from other locations on the island, he said.

At least 162 people were injured, including 67 hospitalized with serious injuries, Nugroho said.

The quake caused blackouts in East Lombok and North Lombok districts and triggered a large landslide from Mount Rinjani. Rescuers were evacuating more than 800 tourists from the mountain.

In East Lombok and the provincial capital of Mataram, the quake lasted about 10 seconds, causing residents to flee their homes onto streets and fields, Nugroho said. He said most of the fatalities and injuries were caused by falling slabs of concrete.

Photos released by the disaster agency showed damaged houses and the entrance to the popular Mount Rinjani National Park, which was immediately closed for fear of landslides.
The images taken on TV showed that they were out of the hospital because they were afraid of the wounded because they were afraid of the wounded because they were afraid of the wounded, and that the patients were thrown from the hospital.

Police chief Eka Fathurrahman in East Lombok said the dead Malaysian woman was part of an 18-member Malaysian tourist group who visited the Rinjani Mountain in a sarcophagus plastered with concrete walls. Six more people were injured in the guest house.

Fathurrahman said that after more ambulances reached the ruined position in the village of East Lombok Sembalun, he took many wounded people who were treated outside of a damaged clinic to the main hospital.

“Residents refused to enter their homes as long aftershocks,” he said.

Indonesia’s meteorological and geophysical agency recorded more than 130 aftershocks.

Like Bali, Lombok is also known for its pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both regions are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the volcano and fault line “Fire Circle” in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive earthquake measuring 9.1 in Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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