Magnitude 6.4 quake rocks Lombok region of Indonesia

Glen Norman
July 30, 2018

A magnitude 6.4 quake on Sunday struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, a popular tourist destination, and was quickly followed by an aftershock, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

BNPBI Head of Information and Public Relation Centre, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said based on data from the Indonesian authorities, a total of 524 climbers, 358 of whom were foreigners, were still trapped in the mountain following yesterday's strong natural disaster.

Dozens of aftershocks rippled through the area leading to falling debris and toppled concrete, which the country's disaster agency said caused most of the fatalities.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake was 50km (31 miles) north-east of the city of Mataram, in northern Lombok.

The jolt was felt some 100 km (60 miles) away in the bustling holiday island of Bali, although there were no immediate reports of damage there.

According to a statement from Rinjani National Park, more than 300 foreign tourists were originally among the trapped hikers.

"Soldiers, police personnel and volunteers were rescuing the stranded holidaymakers on Monday, " Sutopo told newsmen.

"Fortunately there was no panic during the natural disaster even though it was quite strong", said Lilis Letisha, receptionist at the Ombak Paradise Hotel on Gili Air island.

"We were still sleeping when we felt the natural disaster, so we rushed outside of our building".

Around 43 quakes were recorded after the initial tremors - the largest one recorded at 5.7 - with more tremors in popular party island Bali.

He said the East Lombok district was the hardest hit with 10 deaths, including 30 year-old Malaysian national Isma Wida. The organization said its teams were helping with search and rescue.

The US Embassy in Jakarta tweeted that hiking at Mt Rinjani had been suspended due to landslides and that Bali airport was operating as normal. No tsunami alert was issued, he added.

United States model and wife of singer John Legend Christine Teigen is on holiday in Bali at the moment and tweeted: "Oh my".

The Indonesian Red Crescent said it was dispatching hundreds of tarpaulins, blankets and hygiene kits to the affected areas as part of their initial response to the quake. She was vacationing with her husband, singer John Legend, and their two children.

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