Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ten dead after Lombok quakes




Ten dead after Lombok quakes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man jumps over a crack in the ground in Mataram on Indonesia’s Lombok island on Monday after a series of earthquakes were recorded throughout Sunday. AFp

Ten dead after Lombok quakes

A SERIES of powerful earthquakes have rocked the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, killing at least 10 people and setting off fresh waves of panic after nearly 500 died there following a huge tremor two weeks ago.

The quakes hit throughout Sunday, with the first measuring 6.3 shortly before midday which triggered landslides and sent people fleeing for cover as parts of the island suffered blackouts.

It was followed nearly 12 hours later by a quake measuring 6.9 magnitude and a string of powerful aftershocks.

The picturesque island next to holiday hotspot Bali was already reeling from two deadly quakes on July 29 and August 5 that left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Ten people were killed in the quake Sunday evening, mostly by falling debris, with four deaths in eastern Lombok and six on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa, according to the national disaster agency.

Two more Lombok residents died of heart attacks after the morning quake, it said.

‘Too scared to stay at home’

Some two dozen people were injured and more than 150 homes and places of worship were damaged, the agency said

“When the earthquake happened most people were outside their homes or at shelters so there have not been that many fatalities” compared to the August 5 tremor, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“The trauma because of the earlier quake on Sunday [morning] made people prefer to stay outside,” he added.

Officials have evacuated some patients from a hospital in Sumbawa island and in Lombok’s capital Mataram for fear of worse destruction.

Blackouts have hit much of Lombok, according to Sutopo, who posted pictures of cracked roads and video footage of a large fire that broke out in a village on Sumbawa.

Video images from an evacuation camp in Lombok showed children and adults taking cover inside makeshift tents.

“I’m too scared to stay at my house because it’s damaged,” said Lombok resident Saruniwati, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

“I’ve been here since the quake (earlier this month). I went home two days ago and now I’m back here again.”

Earlier, local resident Agus Salim said the powerful tremor jolted him awake on Sunday evening. “The earthquake was incredibly strong. Everything was shaking,” he said. “Everyone ran into the street screaming and crying.”

A dozen foreign guests at the hotel Lina Senggigi, which is in a popular tourist spot, were ushered out of the building as the quake struck.

There were landslides in a national park on Mount Rinjani where hundreds of hikers had been briefly trapped after the quake in late July. The park has been closed since then.

Sunday’s tremors were also felt on Bali but there were no reports of damage there.

‘Ring of Fire’

The latest tremor comes two weeks after a shallow 6.9-magnitude quake on August 5 damaged tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok.

At least 481 people died and thousands were injured.

The hardest-hit region was in the north of the island, which has suffered hundreds of aftershocks. A week before that quake, a tremor surged through the island and killed 17.

The disasters have raised fears that Lombok’s key tourism industry would take a beating, but the international airport was operating normally on Monday.

“People have been arriving and leaving Lombok as usual since last night – there’s been no sudden rush of people trying to get out,” said I Gusti Ngurah Ardita, general manager of Lombok Praya International Airport.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal