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Deadly Lombok quake rattles tourists in Bali

10 August 2018

A POWERFUL natural disaster has rocked the popular Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, killing a reported 82 people, injuring dozens more and damaging buildings, officials said.

There was two more strong secondary quakes and more than 60 aftershocks.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency placed Sunday's death toll at 82, more than doubling its earlier figure of 32. Thousands were evacuated to outside shelters.

"The search and rescue team is still scouring the scene and evacuating (people)", national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"After there was a tsunami alert yesterday, a lot of [tourists] panicked, they climbed into trees, they ran into the hills, a lot of people got injured there, so most of the tourists and a lot of Indonesian people wanted to leave the islands to make sure that they could go to safer ground", she said.

Mataram residents described a powerful jolt that sent people fleeing from buildings. Numerous buildings that collapsed this afternoon were built with shoddy materials according to a member of Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency that spoke with AFP news.

Electricity was knocked out in several parts of the city and patients were evacuated from the main hospital, witnesses and officials said.

Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was on the 10th floor of a hotel in Mataram when the quake struck, said that his room shook violently and walls cracked. "I could not stand up", said Gino Poggiali, a 43-year-old Frenchman, who was with his wife and two children at the airport.

The warning was lifted after waves of just 15 centimetres (6 inches) high were recorded in three villages, said Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

Many people in the area, including American model Chrissy Teigen, took to Twitter to say they felt shaking and trembling.

"They're doing an fantastic job at the same as we're trying to evacuate hundreds of stranded tourists back to the mainland", she said.

"The first one lasted quite a while, the second one was only about two-to-five seconds".

'We can not evacuate all of them all at once because we don't have enough capacity on the boats, ' Muhammad Faozal, of West Nusa Tenggara's tourism agency, told AFP.

The worldwide airport of Bali suffered damage to its terminal but the runway was still unaffected and other operations had returned to normal, as reported by disaster agency officials.

Tourists queue to depart from Lombok International Airport.

The quake damaged buildings as far away as Denpasar on the neighboring island of Bali.

Soldiers have pulled a man alive from the rubble of a large mosque flattened by an natural disaster, killing at least 105 people on the Indonesian island of Lombok, while thousands of homeless villagers waited for aid on Tuesday and stranded tourists camped at beaches and in the lobbies of damaged hotels.

It triggered landslides that briefly trapped trekkers on popular mountain hiking routes.

Indonesia is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it susceptible to earthquakes. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Deadly Lombok quake rattles tourists in Bali