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At least 37 dead after major earthquake strikes Indonesia's Lombok island near Bali

The latest quake had a magnitude of seven and struck just 10km underground.

Updated Aug 5th 2018, 7:17 PM

Indonesia Earthquake Debris on top of motorcycles after the earthquake Source: AP/PA Images

A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE on the Indonesian island of Lombok killed at least 37 people, injured dozens and damaged buildings today.

The 7.0-magnitude tremor struck just 10 kilometres underground, according to the US Geological Survey.

It was followed by two light to moderate secondary quakes and nearly two dozen aftershocks.

“The latest data we have is 19 people are dead at Tanjung Hospital (North Lombok),” Agus Hendra Sanjaya, Mataram search and rescue spokesman, told AFP.

Indonesia Earthquake People affected by earthquake rest at a temporary shelter in Lombok Source: AP/PA Images

Many buildings are thought to have been damaged by the quake in Lombok’s main city of Mataram, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency.

“They are mostly buildings with weak construction material,” Nugroho said.

‘Everyone is panicking’

Indonesia Earthquake Indonesian soldiers tend to a woman injured in the earthquake at a makeshift hospital in Lombok Source: AP/PA Images

Residents in Mataram described a strong jolt that sent people scrambling out of buildings.

“Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking,” Iman, who like many Indonesians has one name, told AFP.

Electricity was knocked out in several parts of the city and patients were evacuated from the main hospital, witnesses and officials said. Pictures showed patients lying on their beds outside the clinic while doctors in blue scrubs attended to them.

Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in Lombok for a security conference when the earthquake struck, described on Facebook how his hotel room on the 10th floor shook violently.

“Walls cracked, it was quite impossible to stand up,” he said.

Airport operations normal

Indonesia Earthquake Police at the scene of debris on top of a motorcycle after the earthquake. Source: AP/PA Images

Officials issued a tsunami warning, which was later cancelled, but seawater poured into two villages, senior disaster agency official Dwikorita Karnawati told local TV.

The quake caused light damage as far away as the Javanesecity of Bandung, some 955 kilometres from Mataram, but was felt strongly on the neighbouring resort island of Bali.

People could be heard screaming as locals and tourists ran onto the road.

Agung Widodo, a resident of Bali’s main town of Denpasar, said he felt two strong tremors.

“The first one lasted quite a while, the second one was only about two-to-five seconds. The first one was the bigger one,” he told AFP.

Indonesia Earthquake A man walks inside cathedral as some concrete fallen from a building after the earthquake. Source: Firdia Lisnawati

Bali’s international airport suffered damage to its terminal but the runway was unaffected and operations had returned to normal, disaster agency officials said.

Facilities at Lombok’s main airport were also unaffected, although passengers were briefly evacuated from the main terminal.

Early reports suggest the quake wrecked buildings in several districts across Bali.

The tremor came a week after a shallow 6.4-magnitude quake hit Lombok, killing 17 people and damaging hundreds of buildings.

It triggered landslides that briefly trapped trekkers on popular mountain hiking routes.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

© AFP 2018

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