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6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Lombok, at least 10 Dead

At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Lombok island.

Sunday morning’s tremor was followed by two strong secondary quakes and more than 60 aftershocks, damaging many buildings. The earthquake – at a depth of seven kilometres – was on land and did not trigger a tsunami.

“The earthquake killed at least 10 people, about 40 people are injured, and dozens of houses were damaged,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency.

“We estimate the number will keep rising because we are not done collecting data.”

A 30-year-old Malaysian woman was among the dead, he said, adding those hurt were hit by falling debris from damaged buildings.

The jolt was felt about 100km away on the island of Bali, although there were no immediate reports of damage there.

The quake also triggered a large landslide on Mount Rinjani, a remote area that offers popular trekking trails. Authorities were monitoring its impact.

“Residents refused to enter their houses as prolonged aftershocks are still being felt,” said Eka Fathurrahman, the police chief in East Lombok.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

The epicentre of the shallow earthquake struck 50km northeast of Lombok’s main city Mataram, the US Geological Survey said, far from the main tourist spots on the south and west of the island.

Two of the aftershocks measured more than five magnitude.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the European quake agency, put the magnitude at 6.5.

Indonesia, an archipelago of thousands of islands, sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismic activity hotspot.

It is frequently hit by quakes, most of them harmless. However, the region remains acutely alert to temblors that might trigger tsunamis.

Source: Al Jazeera News

Photo courtesy of Antara Foto/Reuters

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