Indonesia earthquake: 3 killed on tourist island of Lombok


Jakarta, Jul 29 : Three people have been killed when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the island of Lombok in Indonesia, a popular tourist destination, the countrys disaster mitigation agency has said.

The quake struck at 6.47 a.m., and its epicentre was located 50 km north-east of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok, which has a population of 319,000, the Guardian reported.

Tourists near Senggigi, gateway to the popular Gili Islands resorts, reported strong shocks.

“We jumped out of our beds to avoid anything falling on our heads,” said Jean-Paul Volckaert who was woken by the quake in the Puncak hotel.

“We were very surprised as the water in the pools was swaying like a wild sea. There were waves in the pools but only for 20 to 30 seconds,” he said, adding that there was no damage to the hotel.

Many buildings were damaged, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said.

Lombok, which is about 100 km east of Bali, is a popular tourist destination, although most resorts have not reported any damage as they are located on the south and west of the island.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of high seismic and volcanic activity, that experiences around 7,000 tremors mostly of moderate intensity every year.

In 2004, a huge magnitude-9.3 earthquake under the sea off the coast of the western island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami which killed 168,000 people in Indonesia, and a further 50,000 people in various countries around the Indian Ocean.(IANS)

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