Two more earthquakes hit an Indonesian island, killing more than a dozen people
HONG KONG – The Indonesian island of Lombok was reeling on Monday from two earthquakes that killed at least 14 people a day earlier, just two weeks after another earthquake devastated the island and killed in less than 460 people.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency, said in a statement that 12 people died in Lombok and the neighboring island of Sumbawa when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck. hit Lombok on Sunday night.
He said two other people also died on Sunday afternoon when a separate 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Lombok.
The new quakes came as the region was still recovering from the earthquake that struck Lombok and the three neighboring Gili Islands on August 5, wiping out entire villages and killing hundreds of people. The United States Geological Survey estimated the magnitude of this earthquake at 6.9.
“This, of course, has increased the pain and deep sadness of the people of Lombok, who continue to be shaken” by the previous event, Mr Sutopo said of the new earthquakes in his statement.
Apart from casualties, the August 5 earthquake that struck the north coast of Lombok injured 7,733 people, displaced more than 417,000 others and damaged more than 71,000 buildings, the land management agency reported last week. disasters.
More than a dozen aftershocks followed, but Mr Sutopo said by telephone on Monday that Sunday evening’s earthquake, which struck the eastern part of the island, was a new seismic event. It also said in a statement that more than 1,800 homes were damaged in Sunday’s two earthquakes.
In a video released after the earthquake on Sunday afternoon by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, an aid worker walks through a village in Lombok telling people to leave their homes.
“God is great,” he sings at one point. “God forgive me.”
After Sunday night’s earthquake, “everyone ran in panic,” Imam Satriawan, a driver who works in Mataram, a town west of Lombok island, said in a text message. “We still live in our car and the car shook.”
The Associated Press reported on Monday that Sunday’s earthquakes caused landslides at Mount Rinjani volcano, a popular tourist site in Lombok that has been closed to visitors since an earthquake there killed 16 people in July.
Last week, the disaster management agency said the initial quake caused around $511 million in economic damage.
Tourism is a mainstay of the economy in this part of Indonesia, and one concern among local businesses is that earthquakes and aftershocks could deter potential visitors from coming to Lombok and the Gili Islands.