DEATH TOLL RISES TO 82 AFTER EARTHQUAKE STRIKES INDONESIA
THE DEATH TOLL FROM A MAGNITUDE 7.0 EARTHQUAKE TO HIT INDONESIA'S TOURIST ISLAND OF LOMBOK HAS RISEN TO 82 WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVACUATED, DISASTER OFFICIALS SAY.
The powerful quake triggered panic among tourists and residents, and was also felt on the neighbouring holiday island of Bali. On Lombok, thousands fled from their homes to gather in the safety of open spaces.
Agung Pramuja, head of the Disaster Mitigation Agency in the West Nusa Tenggara province which includes Lombok and neighbouring islands but not Bali, told Reuters 32 people were confirmed dead, many from northern and western parts of Lombok. He said the agency was still collecting data on the injured.
The highest number of casualties was in North Lombok district, where 29 people died, Muhammad Rum, the head of West Nusa Tenggara province's disaster management agency, told broadcaster Metro TV.
Fatalities were also reported in Mataram, the island's main city, and districts of East Lombok, Central Lombok and South Lombok.
Rum said most of the deaths were caused by falling debris, German news agency DPA reported.
Indonesia is currently hosting two ministerial level conferences on regional security and counterterrorism with Australia in Bali and Lombok.
Chief security minister Wiranto, who is in Lombok with his regional counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, Australia and Myanmar, said that a meeting on counter-terrorism, which was set to be held on Monday, has been cancelled.
He was hosting a welcoming dinner for the delegations at a hotel in Mataram when the quake struck.
"All guests are safe. We decided to postpone the meeting and all delegate members can return to their respective countries," he said.
Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, wrote on Facebook that his 10th-floor hotel room shook violently and walls cracked.
"It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams," he wrote. "Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors."
The quake struck Lombok early on Sunday evening at a depth of 10km. It came a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano.
Most of Lombok suffered power cuts, local media reported.
Travellers at the international airports in Lombok and Bali were thrown into panic and there was minor damage to the buildings, but operations were not disrupted, officials said.
The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of houses, hotels, and restaurants.
"All the hotel guests were running, so I did too. People filled the streets," said Michelle Lindsay, an Australian tourist. "A lot of officials were urging people not to panic."
Other witnesses said the initial quake grew in intensity over several seconds, rattling windows and doors, and there were many aftershocks.
The country's disaster management agency urged people to stay away from the sea. However, an initial warning of a tsunami with waves of up to half a metre was later withdrawn.
Saffron Amis, a British student visiting the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, told Reuters by text message that dozens of tourists were evacuated to a hill after the quake.
A number of celebrities who are holidaying in Bali have since tweeted expressing their shock at the strong earthquake.
Australian actress Teresa Palmer is among a number of celebrities holidaying on Bali who tweeted about a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck on nearby Lombok island.
American model and television presenter Chrissy Teigen posted a series of brief updates on her Twitter profile. The Lip Sync Battle host initially wrote: "Oh my god. Bali. Trembling. So long.", before adding "Phewwwwww", indicating that the tremors had stopped.
Teigen, 32, is with her husband, singer John Legend, and their two young children Luna and Miles.
The former Sports Illustrated cover star revealed the house in which they are staying is elevated from the ground, which added to the terrifying experience.
Oh man. We are on stilts. It felt like a ride. 15 solid seconds of “hooooooly shit this is happening”— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 5, 2018
"I very calmly walked outside saying clutching baby saying 'I'm naked. I'm naked. I'm naked'. Like a naked zombie."
Teigen then confirmed that aftershocks from the quake had started to hit the area.
So many aftershocks 😩😩😩— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 5, 2018
im either still trembling or these little quakes won’t stop IM TRYING TO BE NORMAL HERE— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 5, 2018
Teresa Palmer said she felt the earthquake from where she was staying in a tree house in Bali.
She tweeted: "We felt it here in Ubud and it was VIOLENT. We are staying in a tree house and it was swaying like crazy. Very scary. Stay safe everyone."
It was very scary and we are in Bali, I can’t imagine how it must’ve felt to those closer to Lombok. Thinking of everyone affected 🙏 https://t.co/RTAIT8EEqD— Teresa Palmer (@teresapalmer) August 5, 2018
Take That star Gary Barlow is also on holiday in Bali, and posted a message on Twitter assuring fans that he was fine.
Thank you for your concern - we’re all fine - a bit shaken up— Gary Barlow (@GaryBarlow) August 5, 2018