Indonesia: Quake Rattles Tourist Island; At Least 14 Dead

Deadly Quake Kills More Than A Dozen People

A powerful earthquake rattled an Indonesian tourist island, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 150 civilians.

The 6.4 magnitude quake hit a popular tourist destination in the island of Lombok in the early morning on Sunday.

The tremor struck the island when most of the residents and tourists were sleeping.

The disaster left a trail or massive devastation. More than a thousand homes and buildings were damaged.

The island is a popular spot for tourists because of its magnificent beaches and trekking trails. It is located about 40km east of Bali.

Aftershocks Alarm Residents

A series of tremors alarmed residents. They lasted for almost two hours following the powerful quake. In fact, more than 120 smaller earthquakes were recorded, with the largest recorded at a magnitude of 5.7.

Residents moved to safer ground to avoid being hit by debris and falling blocks of concrete.

One witness shared an account of the disaster.

Jean Paul Volchaert, who owns the Puncak Hotel on Lombok, told CNN his experience.

We were still sleeping when we felt the earthquake, so we rushed outside of our building. There was about 20 seconds of shaking, the water in the pool was making quite large waves,” he said.

Volchaert added, “We felt aftershocks for two hours after the initial earthquake, so we’re worried that there could be more damage caused.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 50km northeast of Lombok’s main city Mataram.

Around 500 Hikers Trapped on Mount Rinjani

The quake also triggered landslides in the nearby mountain of Rinjani and trapped 700 trekkers and climbers who became stranded at two points on the mountain.

Hikers have difficulty going down the slopes of the mountain because paths were covered by debris from landslides.

The Indonesian authorities have responded to the needs of the hikers. About 100 army, police and other rescuers were working to get people down. Helicopters scoured the area for others still trapped.

Earthquakes Common in Indonesia

Earthquakes are not something new in Indonesia. The Muslim nation sits on the infamous Ring of Fire, a set of fault lines which circle the Pacific Basin, making it more prone to quakes.

In December 2016, a deadly quake hit Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing at least 97 and injuring more than two hundred people. That same year, a magnitude-7.8 quake hit the south-western coast of Sumatra, but no tsunamis or deaths were registered as a result.

However, the 2004 disaster was considered to be one of the deadliest. The deadly earthquake killed more than 80,000 people after a tsunami swept across the Indonesian region, leaving millions homeless.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.