Indonesia earthquake: 10 dead on tourist island Lombok


A powerful earthquake has struck a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, killing at least 10 people.

The 6.4 magnitude quake hit the central Indonesian island of Lombok just before 07:00 local time (00:00 GMT) on Sunday.

The island attracts tourists from around the world due to its beaches and hiking trails, and is located about 40km (25 miles) east of Bali.

Many buildings have been damaged and dozens of people have been injured by falling debris, officials say.

A Malaysian tourist who was on a hiking trip to Mount Rinjani is reportedly among those killed.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the earthquake was 50km (31 miles) northeast of the city of Mataram, in northern Lombok.

It was followed by more than 60 smaller earthquakes, with the largest recorded at a magnitude of 5.7.

“Some 40 people are injured and dozens of houses were damaged,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country’s disaster agency, said in a statement.

“We estimate the number will keep rising because we are not done collecting data,” he added.

“The main focus now is evacuation and rescue. Some of the injured are still being treated at clinics.”

He posted images showing collapsed buildings and streets littered with rubble.

“The quake felt so strong… tourists were panicked and frightened and escaped from hotels,” Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, a citizen protection director at the foreign ministry, told BBC Indonesian.

One witness told AFP news agency about the chaos that followed the earthquake.

“The earthquake was very strong… and everybody in my house panicked, we all ran outside,” he said. “All my neighbours also ran outside and the electricity was suddenly cut off.”

Mount Rinjani National Park, a popular destination for trekkers, has been closed due to landslides.

Climber Khairul Azi said he and a group of hikers were stranded after the quake.

“We are unable to get out of the area because many roads have been cut off,” he told the New Straits Times.

“The situation here is hectic and we’re still trying to make contact with the other Malaysian climbers,” he added.

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.















Source: BBC