At least 3 killed in Lombok’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake

At least three were confirmed dead after a powerful  6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the popular tourist destination of Lombok in Indonesia this morning, according to Reuters.

The quake which was centred 50 km northeast of the city of Mataram on the northern part of Lombok island caused widespread damages to buildings.  It struck at 6.47 am and was only 7 km deep, a shallow depth that would have amplified effect.

The quake hit Lombok island early in the morning when many people were still asleep.  Around 40 people were injured and many fled into open fields away from collapsed buildings, said an East Lombok police officer.

He added that a Malaysian tourist visiting the popular trekking destination of Mount Rinjani on Lombok was among those killed.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency spokesman, posted on Twitter pictures of the houses with collapsed roofs and walls.

Local news Metro TV reported that several people were still sleeping when the first quake hit and they quickly fled their houses in panic.  Most are still waiting outside their houses for fear of aftershocks.

Around 66 aftershocks were recorded after the initial 6.4 magnitude tremor, with the largest aftershock recorded at 5.7 magnitude, said the disaster mitigation agency.

The European-Mediterranian Seismological Centre put the magnitude at 6.5.


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