At least 82 people have been killed when a powerful earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok Sunday, triggering a brief tsunami warning and sending residents and tourists fleeing into the streets.
The death toll was expected to rise, with hundreds of people injured and thousands of houses severely damaged, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement on Monday.
The quake, recorded at magnitude 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck at a depth of 10.5 kilometers in the northern part of Lombok. It was also felt on the neighboring island of Bali, Sumbawa and parts of East Java.
Electricity was knocked out in several parts of the city and patients were evacuated from the main hospital, witnesses and officials said.Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, posted pictures of the destruction on his Facebook page and said his 10th-floor hotel room shook violently and walls cracked.
"It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams," he wrote. "Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors."
Mutya Aryani, a local resident in Sumbawa, told VOA by phone, "Most of people were at the mosque when the earthquake happened. People ran to the street and a large field outside the mosque. We're still traumatized by the previous earthquake a few days ago which was also quite large."
Last week, 17 people were killed when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Lombok.
Like Bali, Lombok is known for its pristine beaches and mountains.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire,'' an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean Basin. In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
Source: Voice of America