• Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
  • Last Update : 09:09 am

Multiple quakes rock Indonesia's Lombok island, 10 dead

  • Published at 07:17 pm August 20th, 2018
Indonesia quake
Tens of thousands of homes, businesses and mosques were levelled by the quake, which struck on Sunday as evening prayers were being said across the Muslim-majority islandAFP

Video images from an evacuation camp in Lombok showed children and adults taking cover inside makeshift tents

At least 10 people are dead after a string of powerful quakes rocked the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, authorities said Monday, in a fresh blow just weeks after earlier tremors left hundreds dead and thousands more homeless.

The latest quakes struck Sunday, with the first measuring 6.3 shortly before midday. It triggered landslides and sent people fleeing for cover as parts of Lombok suffered blackouts.

It was followed nearly 12 hours later by a 6.9-magnitude quake and a string of powerful aftershocks.

The picturesque island next to holiday hotspot Bali was already reeling from two deadly quakes on July 29 and August 5 that killed nearly 500 people.

Ten people were killed in the strong quake Sunday evening, mostly by falling debris, including six people on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa, according to the national disaster agency.

Some two dozen people were injured in Lombok and more than 150 homes and places of worship damaged, the agency said.

Tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok had already been destroyed by the quake earlier this month.

Most people caught in the latest tremor had been outside their homes or at shelters when it struck which kept casualties low, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"The trauma because of the earlier quake on Sunday (morning) made people prefer to stay outside," he added.

Aid agencies vowed to boost humanitarian assistance on the island as devastated residents struggle in makeshift displacement camps.

Indonesia's disaster agency said it was accelerating efforts to rebuild destroyed homes, hospitals and schools, while Save the Children pledged to escalate its humanitarian response.

"We are gravely concerned about the repeated distress caused to children by the multiple shocks," the relief agency said.

'Too scared at home'

Video images from an evacuation camp in Lombok showed children and adults taking cover inside makeshift tents.

"I'm too scared to stay at my house because it's damaged," said resident Saruniwati, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"I've been here since the quake (earlier this month). I went home two days ago and now I'm back here again."

Local Agus Salim said the powerful tremor jolted him awake Sunday evening.

"The earthquake was incredibly strong. Everything was shaking," he told AFP.

"Everyone ran into the street screaming and crying."

There were landslides in a national park on Mount Rinjani where hundreds of hikers had been briefly trapped after the quake in late July. The park has been closed since then.

Sunday's tremors were also felt on Bali but there were no reports of damage there.