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Tourists flee Lombok as Indonesian quake death toll rises

Tourists flee Lombok as Indonesian quake death toll rises

A POWERFUL natural disaster has rocked the popular Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, killing a reported 82 people, injuring dozens more and damaging buildings, officials said.

The quake struck Lombok at a depth of 10km, a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano. Then there were several aftershocks, the strongest of which amounted to 6.4 points on the Richter scale.

Blue tarpaulins dotted the landscape as people prepared to spend the nights outdoors because of aftershocks or because their homes were destroyed.

At least 209 people were injured.

Officials issued a tsunami warning after the quake, but it was later cancelled.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, told MetroTV that the tsunami warning has ended.

The tremor was powerful enough to be felt on the neighbouring island of Bali where, BNPB said, two people died.

The powerful quake has killed at least 82 people and wounded hundreds, with thousands of buildings also left damaged.

Most of Lombok suffered power cuts, local media reported.

These are tweets from Bali and Lombok, both major tourist destinations in Indonesia are coming from visitors in panic. Since the natural disaster last week there have been hundreds of aftershocks, 44 of which could be felt.

It was also felt in Sumbawa Island, to the east of Lombok according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Management Board; twelve aftershocks followed the quake.

She live tweeted the natural disaster to her 10.6m followers.

About 90 personnel from the military, police and national search and rescue agency swarmed around the flattened building Tuesday, using cutting equipment to pry apart the tangled debris.

"I've just been to two first-aid sections, one has got people who are still alive, the other one has got a few dead bodies in it".

The Indonesian Red Cross said in a Tweet that it helped a woman give birth after the quake at a health post in the north.

Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was in Lombok for a security conference when the quake struck.

The agency said small tsunamis measuring 10 centimeters and 13 cm in height were detected at Carik Village in North Lombok and Badas in Sumbawa Island, respectively. "We were knocked certainly to the floor", he told Australian radio.

"We can't dive, we can't do anything so we will go to another island", he said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

In 2004, a devastating tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea quake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.