News

Earthquake leaves 91 people dead in Lombok and Bali

Ali Coulton

At least 91 people are dead after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck Indonesian tourist island, Lombok and shook neighboring Bali.

The quake triggered a brief tsunami warning and damaged buildings as far away as Denpensar including the airport terminal.

It comes a week after 16 people were killed by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in the same region.

Travel Weekly contacted multiple popular tourist resorts in Bali including the Legian Bali, Kartika Plaza and Karma Kandara who all confirmed that no guests have been harmed by the quake, most of whom stating that the damage was mostly caused to Lombok.

Lucienne Anhar of the Tugu Hotel in Lombok told Travel Weekly though the hotel is fine, most guests still want to evacuate.

“All the guests are safe but most of them want to evacuate,” she said.

“Many are on the way to the airport now… There might be a shortage of available flights because many are not feeling comfortable [enough] to stay in Lombok at the moment.”

“In terms of damage obviously, we haven’t been damaged like all the small houses in the villages.”

The ABC reports thousands of people in Lombok fled their homes to gather in open spaces.

A majority of the deaths occurred in North Lombok district and the rest were in West Lombok and the provincial capital of Mataram.

A DFAT spokesperson said that no Australians are currently known to have been seriously injured or killed.

“Australian officials are making enquiries with the Government of Indonesia and local partners to confirm the extent of the damage caused and what support Australia may be able to provide. Consular staff have been sent to Lombok to assess damage and assist those in need,” the spokesperson said.

DFAT has also confirmed that both airports in Lombok are open and operating.

“Two separate official government delegations led by Ministers Bishop and Dutton were in the region at the time of the earthquake.”

“Minister Dutton was in Lombok at the time of the earthquake but is safe and has arrived in Bali this morning.”

Bali airport has also continued operating after the terminal suffered minor damages with some roof panels falling down.

An Australian tourist, Don Finlayson, told the ABC that he was on the south-east coast of Bali at the time.

“As the quake happened, we were sitting in the Trattoria Restaurant when the table began to sway,” he said.

“We were the first out and the rest of the diners spilled out onto the street … It only lasted a few seconds but it shook us all up in every way with a young woman sobbing [nearby] and [being] supported by her family.

“The locals also seemed a bit disturbed although it was business as usual. Cars and scooters continued on the street outside seemingly oblivious to the interruption to the ground and life on top of it.”

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