Jakarta, August 5: A major earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Lombok island today, just a week after a quake had killed 17 people on the holiday island, sending people running from their homes and triggering a tsunami alert.
The latest quake had a magnitude of seven and struck just 10 km underground according to the US Geological Survey. Officials issued a tsunami warning and urged people to move away from the ocean.
“Please go to a place with higher ground, while remaining calm and not panicking,” Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the agency for meteorology, climatology and geophysics, told local TV.
Residents in Lombok’s main city Mataram described a strong jolt that sent people scrambling out of buildings.
“Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking,” Iman, a local resident in Mataram, told AFP.
The tremor came a week after a shallow 6.4-magnitude quake hit the island, killing 17 people and damaging hundreds of buildings. It triggered landslides that briefly trapped trekkers on popular mountain hiking routes.
Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.
In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 2,20,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 1,68,000 in Indonesia. (AFP)