As authorities scramble to return services and normalcy to the Indonesian island of Lombok a series of strong earthquakes over the weekend has seen the death toll rise and more structures collapsing.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) the strongest quake, a magnitude 6.9 jolt (Indonesia’s BMKG is recording the event at 7.0) struck at a depth of 25.6 km (about 15.9 miles), 2km (1.2 miles) south of Belanting, Lombok island, at 9:56pm (local time) on Sunday (Aug 19), ushering in at least five significant aftershocks up to a magnitude 5.9 in its wake.
The strong quake came less than 12 hours after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocked Sembalunlawang in East Lombok. At least five people have been confirmed killed.
The fresh round of quakes comes just three weeks after a deadly 6.4 magnitude quake struck off the northern tip of the island on July 29 (local time) with dozens of following quakes killing almost 500 people, displacing some 300,000 people, and causing millions of dollars in damage (See: Lombok earthquake deaths rise to 387: Aid yet to reach all affected (video)).
In the amateur video posted on Twitter by Indonesia Red Cross (Pelang Merah Indonesia) above, dust clouds can be seen chocking the roadway as emergency response crews conduct a frantic house to house search for villagers, residents of the tiny Lombok hamlet standing on the edge of the roadway.
The video continues recording as the man runs between houses, reciting prayers to Allah while at the same time calling out for anyone who might be trapped under fallen brickwork or roofing.
The fresh round of earthquakes sent Lombok residents who were sleeping under makeshift tents or tarpaulins near their homes damaged by previous recent earthquakes and in evacuation shelters scurrying for open space, local resident Agus Salim telling AFP: “We were all sleeping in an evacuation tent. Suddenly everything started shaking.Everyone ran into the street screaming and crying.”
Sunday’s tremors were also felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, but there were no reports of damage, according to authorities.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson, Sutopo Nugroho, said one person was confirmed dead, adding that there were also reports of localised damage to property and infrastructure, adding that damage since July 29 is estimated to exceed Rp5 trillion ($348 mln).
“We are urging the public not to panic and to stay away from buildings and big trees. We are also urging them not to believe hoaxes and false information”, Mr Nugroho told Reuters.
According to the USGS the Sunday 6.9 magnitude quake was a result of a shallow thrust faulting on or near The Flores Back Arc Thrust, adding that both a 6.9 magnitude quake on August 5 and the latest quakes “have a similar depth and mechanism”.
In response to the humanitarian crisis affecting the local population Pelang Merah Indonesia have opened accounts with several banks for people wishing to make donation to the residents of Lombok affected by the earthquakes. Donations can be made at any branch of the following banks using the respective account numbers:
- Bank Mandiri — Acc. No. 070-00-0011601-7
- Bank BRI — Acc. No. 0390-01-000030-30-3
- Bank BCA — Acc. No. 206.300668.8
- or at www.donasi.pmi.or.id or email at email@example.com
This story was updated at 06:04 on August 21, 2018: The death toll was upgraded to reflect the latest information.
Feature video Indonesia Red Cross
- 2 dead as multiple quakes rock Indonesia’s Lombok island (Rappler)
- Series of quakes rocks Indonesia’s Lombok, causing panic (Thai Visa)
- Lombok: deadly quake hits island recovering from string of tremors (The Guardian)
Lombok earthquake photo gallery
Gallery photos Indonesia Red Cross
Between November 2010 and February 2012 she was a staff writer at Daylight Online, Nigeria writing on health, fashion, and relationships. Since 2010 she has worked as a freelance screen writer for ‘Nollywood’, Nigeria.