JAKARTA — A strong earthquake struck Indonesia’s popular tourist island of Lombok on Sunday, killing at least three people, one week after another quake in the same area killed more than a dozen. The latest quake, which triggered a brief tsunami warning, also shook neighboring Bali island. Authorities said the quake may have caused some damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.0 quake struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 10.5 kilometers (6 miles). Its epicenter was about 2 kilometers (1 mile) east-southeast of Loloan. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency issued a tsunami warning after the quake struck, saying small waves were possible. The agency’s head, Dwikorita Karnawati, later told MetroTV that the tsunami warning had ended.
She said the warning was for the lowest level of tsunami, and that small waves just 15 centimeters (6 inches) high were detected in three villages. Najmul Akhyar, district chief of North Lombok, told MetroTV that there was an electrical blackout so he was unable to assess the entire situation, but that at least three people had been killed.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Kompas TV that the quake strongly jolted Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, and may have caused damage there. He said the quake was also felt in parts of neighboring Bali island.
Video aired by Kompas TV showed patients being evacuated from a hospital in Bali’s Tabanan district. Iwan Asmara, an official from the local Disaster Mitigation Agency, said people poured out from their houses in panic to move to higher ground, particularly in Mataram and North Lombok.
A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people. Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.