Second earthquake rips through Lombok, evacuation efforts underway

Indonesian president Joko Widodo examining damage of the first earthquake to hit Lombok (photo credit: presidentRI.go.id)

An earthquake measuring seven on the richter scale hit Lombok yesterday, killing at least 82 people leaving 100 injured, a week after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the island.

The earthquake, which was followed by more than 80 aftershocks, was also felt in Bali, Flores, and even parts of East Java. The worst affected areas were North Lombok, East Lombok and Mataram City.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo examining damage of the first earthquake (photo credit: presidentRI.go.id)

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, said the casualty count is expected to continue increasing, adding that the extent of damage caused is still being determined.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, said: “We are also observing the sea level on the beach. Based on the data, the earthquake triggered a tsunami in four locations, Carik Village, North Lombok and Badas Village, North Sumba beach, Lembar Village on the Southwest Lombok beach, and Benoa Village.

“Although the tsunamis were less than half a meter high, (we) must (issue) an early warning because… amplification can occur (depending on) on the topography of the coast,” explained Dwikorita.

The tsunami warning has since been lifted.

The earthquake in Lombok also affected the islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, where reports say some 1,000 tourists and locals were on yesterday.

No casualties were reported on the three Gilis, and evacuation of travellers and locals were taking place at press time. On Gili Trawangan, ships have been sent for the evacuation of 45 stranded tourists.

Awaluddin, corporate communication senior manager Angkasa Pura I, shared that operational activities at both Lombok International Airport and Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport are back to normal. The earthquake has caused minor damage to terminal facilities, but airside facilities – such as runways, taxiways and aprons – remain intact.

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