More Than 80 People Dead After Lombok Struck By Another Quake
DFAT statement: no Australians believed to be killed or seriously injured
A powerful earthquake has struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing at least 82 people and shaking neighbouring Bali, one week after another quake on the island killed more than a dozen.
The latest quake, which triggered a brief tsunami warning, damaged buildings as far away as Bali's Denpasar, including a department store and the airport terminal, where ceiling panels were shaken loose, authorities say.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying that “no Australians are currently known to have been seriously injured or killed” in the quake.
Indonesia is currently hosting two ministerial level conferences on regional security and counterterrorism with Australia in Bali and Lombok.
Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was on the 12th floor of a Lombok hotel when the quake hit.
"We were knocked certainly to the floor," he told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.
"It was a pretty violent shaking and swaying of the building. We were pretty lucky to get out. There was certainly a lot of structural damage to the building."
Video shows people screaming and running in panic from houses in Bali with vehicles rocking, while on Lombok Island soldiers and other rescuers have carried the injured on stretchers and carpets to an evacuation centre.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says the toll has now risen to 82 with hundreds others injured. Earlier officials said at least 39 people had died.
Sixty five deaths have been recorded in North Lombok, nine in West Lombok, four in the provincial capital Mataram and two each in Central Lombok and East Lombok districts, Nugroho said.
Thousands of houses were damaged with most of the dead killed by collapsing homes, Nugroho said.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.0 quake struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 10.5 kilometres in the northern part of Lombok.
"I was watching TV when I felt a big shake," said Harian, a Lombok woman who uses one name.
"The lamp was shaking, and people were shouting 'Get out.' I ran out into the dark because the power cut off."
A tsunami warning was lifted after waves just 15 centimetres high were recorded in three villages, said Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.
The quake was felt strongly across Lombok and Bali and had damaged houses on both islands, Nugroho said.
Frightened people poured out of their homes to move to higher ground, particularly in North Lombok and Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, said Iwan Asmara, a Lombok disaster official.
The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating on Sunday night, according to the director general of civil aviation. There had been a half-hour evacuation at the Lombok airport following the quake because the electricity went off. TV showed crying women consoling each other outside Lombok's airport.
The island was already reeling from a magnitude 6.4 quake on July 29, which killed 16 people.
Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.
Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
- With RAW/AAP
STATEMENT FROM DFAT
The Australian Consulate-General in Bali is working closely with local authorities to provide consular assistance to affected Australians. No Australians are currently known to have been seriously injured or killed.
Australian officials are making enquiries with the Government of Indonesia and local partners to confirm the extent of the damage caused and what support Australia may be able to provide. Consular staff have been sent to Lombok to assess damage and assist those in need.
Both airports in Lombok are reported to be open and operating.
Australia stands ready to support the Government of Indonesia, if further international assistance is required.
Two separate official government delegations led by Ministers Bishop and Dutton were in the region at the time of the earthquake. Minister Dutton was in Lombok at the time of the earthquake but is safe and has arrived in Bali this morning.
We advise all Australians in the region to monitor local media and follow advice from the local authorities.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati