At least three people were killed when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok and nearby Bali, damaging buildings, sending terrified residents and tourists running into the streets and triggering a brief tsunami warning.
Najmul Akhyar, district chief of North Lombok, told reporters that a power blackout made it impossible to immediately assess the full extent of the damage. But the death toll was at least three, he said.
A search and rescue official told the Agence France-Presse news agency the toll could rise to 19 or more. Social media posts from the scene showed debris scattered on streets and sidewalks.
Hospital patients, many still in their beds, were rolled out onto streets as a safeguard against structural damage to the hospital buildings.
“Back in the house now. That was an attention getter,” tweeted @Bali_chris. “Strongest quake we’ve felt in the 13 years we’ve been here. Much stronger than the last one in Lombok that we felt in Bali. Hope everyone in Lombok is safe.”
Lombok, about 50 miles east of Bali, was rocked by a magnitude 6.4 quake less than a week ago that killed 16 people. That quake injured more than 150 people, damaged thousands of homes and cut off power to many more.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency for Indonesia had reported scores of aftershocks in the hours after last week’s quake – and had warned that another major quake could be imminent.
The agency issued a tsunami warning after Sunday’s temblor, but withdrew the warning a short time later.
Iwan Asmara, an official from the local Disaster Mitigation Agency, said panicked residents and tourists ran from their homes and hotels to move to higher ground. Model Chrissy Teigen, vacationing in Bali with husband John Legend and their children, said she fled to the streets.
“oh my god. Bali. trembling. So long,” Teigen tweeted. “Oh man. We are on stilts. It felt like a ride. 15 solid seconds.”
Minutes later Teigen tweeted: “im either still trembling or these little quakes won’t stop IM TRYING TO BE NORMAL HERE”
British singer-songwriter Gary Barlow was on Lombok when the quake hit.
“Thank you for for your concern – we’re all fine – a bit shaken up,” Barlow tweeted.
The quake struck at 6:46 p.m. local time Sunday with an epicenter located 12 miles south-west of East Lombok. Lombok is known for its beaches, surfing, diving and snorkeling and is home to a sea turtle hatchery.
Indonesia, made up of thousands of islands, has a population of more than 260 million people. The archipelago is part of the Ring of Fire, an area in the Pacific known for volcanic activity and earthquakes.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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