The death toll from a magnitude 7.0 quake to hit Indonesia’s tourist island of Lombok has risen to 82 with thousands of people evacuated, disaster officials said.
The powerful quake has come exactly one week after another deadly tremor hit the island triggering panic among tourists and residents and was also felt on neighbouring holiday island Bali.
On Lombok, thousands have fled from their homes to gather in the safety of open spaces.
Disaster officials say the death toll has now risen to 82, from the 32 earlier reported, Reuters said.
— adv (@Advskrrr) August 5, 2018
Agung Pramuja, head of the Disaster Mitigation Agency in the West Nusa Tenggara province, which includes Lombok and neighbouring islands, said the agency is still collecting data on the injured.
The highest number of casualties was in North Lombok district, where 29 people died, Muhammad Rum, the head of West Nusa Tenggara province’s disaster management agency, told broadcaster Metro TV.
Indonesia is currently hosting two ministerial level conferences on regional security and counterterrorism with Australia in Bali and Lombok.
Chief security minister Wiranto, who is in Lombok with his regional counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, Australia and Myanmar, said that a meeting on counter-terrorism, which was set to be held on Monday, has been cancelled.
Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, wrote on Facebook that his 10th-floor hotel room shook violently and walls cracked.
Powerful quake rocks Indonesia’s Lombok, Bali islands https://t.co/6F0f3MGqjF
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 5, 2018
“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.”
The quake struck Lombok early on Sunday evening at a depth of 10km. It came a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano.
The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of houses, hotels, and restaurants.
“All the hotel guests were running, so I did too. People filled the streets,” said Michelle Lindsay, an Australian tourist. “A lot of officials were urging people not to panic.”
Australian actress Teresa Palmer, who is holidaying in Bali, said she felt the magnitude-7 quake from her tree house.
“We felt it here in Ubud and it was VIOLENT. We are staying in a tree house and it was swaying like crazy. Very scary. Stay safe everyone,” she tweeted.
It was very scary and we are in Bali, I can’t imagine how it must’ve felt to those closer to Lombok. Thinking of everyone affected ???? https://t.co/RTAIT8EEqD
— Teresa Palmer (@teresapalmer) August 5, 2018
There are no reports of any Australians being killed in the quake, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said.
Turnbull said many Australians felt the quake, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who has since Tweeted to say he and other members of an Australian delegation visiting Lombok are safe.
Mr Turnbull said he would offer Australian support to Indonesia when he speaks to President Joko Widodo later in the day, with the death toll at 82 and expected to rise.
Mr Dutton, who is on Lombok for a counter-terrorism meeting, was on the 12th floor of a hotel when the quake hit, telling Fairfax Media it was “was powerful enough to put us on the floor”.
“We were up on the 12th floor, the lights went out …” the minister said, praising emergency service who swung into action to get them to safety.
“They were able to evacuate us to safe ground and we are very grateful. There have been no reports of any local injures that we are aware of but we are anxiously awaiting further advice on that.”