Travel Trouble

Sun, 5 Aug, 2018Danielle McCarthy

82 killed as major earthquake hits Indonesia’s Lombok island

82 killed as major earthquake hits Indonesia’s Lombok island

The popular Indonesian holiday island Lombok has been hit with a powerful earthquake, which has killed at least 82 people and injured dozens.

According to the US Geological Survey, the seven-magnitude earthquake struck 15km underground.

Following the strong tremor were two light to moderate secondary quakes and nearly two dozen aftershocks.

This earthquake was the second this week to hit Lombok, a popular tourist destination that draws crowds from all over the world.

Officials revealed that most of the victims died in northern Lombok, which is a distance from the main tourist hotspots on the south and west of the island.

Rescue officials said the majority of the damage occurred in Lombok’s main city of Mataram.

Residents recalled how a strong jolt sent everyone rushing to exit buildings.

“Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking,” one man told AFP.

In several parts of the city, electricity was cut off and patients were evacuated from the main hospital.

A tsunami warning was issued by officials, but it was later cancelled.

Australia’s Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, who is currently in Lombok for a counter-terrorism meeting, said the earthquake “was powerful enough to put us on the floor”.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, he said: “We were up on the 12th floor, the lights went out and we were able to evacuate.

“I think we were pretty lucky in the end.”

Mr Dutton later tweeted that he and other members of the Australian delegation are safe.

“Australian delegation is safe and is evacuated from hotel. Very grateful to Indonesian police and authorities and the AFP. We are not yet aware of the extent of the damage, but thoughts and prayers are with those impacted,” he wrote.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Nine Network that there had not yet been any reports of Australians being injured in the quake.

Mr Turnbull said he will be contacting his Indonesian counterpart to offer Australia’s assistance for disaster relief.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Indonesia, particularly the people of Lombok, where the earthquake occurred,” Mr Turnbull said.

“We always reach out to our neighbours when natural disaster strikes.”

A number of celebrities who are holidaying in Bali took to Twitter to share updates on the earthquake, including Aussie actress Teresa Palmer and musician John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen.

“Woah! Anyone else feel that earthquake in Bali? Hope everyone is okay. Staying in a treehouse and we were SWAYING!” Palmer wrote.

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