Asia - Pacific

7.0 quake rocks eastern Indonesia; 98 dead

Earthquake centered 27 kilometers (17 miles) northeast of city of Mataram on Lombok island

Fatih Hafız Mehmet   | 05.08.2018
7.0 quake rocks eastern Indonesia; 98 dead


By Mahmut Atanur


At least 98 people died while at least 200 were injured when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook eastern Indonesia on Sunday, said an official.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), in a statement confirmed the death toll in the earthquake and aftershocks on the island of Lombok. 

Nugroho said most of the casualties occurred on the northern part of the island.

He also stressed that both domestic and foreign tourists were evacuated to safe zones on the Gili Islands, northeast of Lombok.

The earthquake damaged over 1,000 houses, and search and rescue teams backed by helicopters are continuing their efforts in the area. 

Out of the 98 people who lost their lives, at least two were on the Bali Islands, west of Lombok.

So far, 47 aftershocks with a smaller magnitude have been detected, said Nugroho in an earlier statement. 

Nugroho said paramedics were dispatched to the disaster-hit area and survivors were moved to safety and provided with blankets, tents, and basic foodstuffs.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his "deep sorrow" over the deadly quake and urged on search and rescue teams.

The earthquake was centered 27 kilometers (17 miles) northeast of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok -- a popular tourist destination -- 15 km (9 mi.) under the surface, according to the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).

A tsunami alert issued earlier was lifted, the agency added.

Praya International Airport is operating normally after a disruption in flights due to a power outage from the quake, airport officials said.

Last week, 16 people were killed when a magnitude 6.4 quake struck the same region, leading to the evacuation of more than 1,000 mountaineers. 

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