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6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Bali

At least 50 people were injured in the earthquake which was felt on neighbouring Indonesian islands.

A mnivan in Kuta, Bali crushed by falling concrete during the earthquake.
A mnivan in Kuta, Bali crushed by falling concrete during the earthquake.
Image: AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati

A POWERFUL earthquake jolted Indonesia’s popular resort island of Bali today, causing widespread panic and injuring at least 50 people, many with broken bones and head wounds.

Ceilings caved in at some schools and offices, and several ancient Hindu temples along the coast were damaged, with stones tumbling to the ground and their walls crumbling.

The US Geological Survey said the 6.1-magnitude quake was centred 100 kilometres south-west of the island, famous for its resorts and spectacular surfing beaches. It hit 35 kilometres beneath the ocean floor. Although not strong enough to trigger a tsunami, the quake was felt on neighbouring Java and Lombok islands.

“It knocked me off my motorcycle,” said one badly shaken Bali resident, Miftahul Chusna.

Candy Juliani, a public relations officer for the Sanur Beach Hotel, said it was sheer chaos, with guests pouring from their rooms and onto the streets.

“We have special emergency routes for this type of situation,” she said. “But everyone was so scared, they just ignored them.”

At least 50 people were hurt, suffering cuts, broken bones and head wounds, said Wayan Sudanti, a hospital spokesman. They included 12 students and three teachers injured when the ceiling of their high school caved in, said I Gede Tejo from the local disaster agency.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant quake off the country on 26 December, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh.

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Associated Press

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