See More on Facebook

Analysis

At least 82 people have died in 7.0 quake in Indonesia

Indonesia’s resort islands of Bali and Lombok were rocked by a magnitude 7 earthquake on Sunday with scores dead and widespread property damage reported.


Written by

Updated: August 6, 2018

The quake has killed 82 and left hundreds wounded, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said early Monday (Aug 6), with thousands of buildings damaged.

The quake, which struck the northern coast of Lombok at a depth of 15km, comes a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and prompted a large-scale evacuation of a volcano popular with hikers.

Indonesian officials had earlier issued a tsunami warning and urged people to move away from the ocean. “Please go to a place with higher ground, while remaining calm and not panicking,” Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the agency for meteorology, climatology and geophysics, told local TV.

Seawater had entered two villages as high as 10cm and 13cm, Karnawati said later.

The warning was later lifted at 8.25pm local time, with National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho saying small tsunamis between 9-13 cm were detected on Lombok. Mr Sutopo added that the agency is expecting a high casualty toll.

In a high alert advisory, Singapore’s National Environment Agency said, “There are no reports of tremors in Singapore. Regional Tsunami Warning Centres have forecast that a local tsunami may be generated near the epicentre, but Singapore is unlikely to be affected.”

Indonesia’s airport operator has said that airports on Bali and Lombok islands are operating normally after the quake, despite minor damage.

“Both airports are operating as normal, now we are cleaning up the airports. Some parts of the ceiling have fallen off, but no one is hurt,” said Handy Heryudhitiawan, corporate secretary at operator Angkasa Pura 1, which runs both airports.

In response to The Straits Times’ queries, Singapore Airlines said: “Singapore Airlines flights to Bali and SilkAir flights to Lombok are currently due to operate as scheduled. As the situation remains fluid, customers are advised to check the status of their flights on our website.”

The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of houses, hotels and restaurants.

Singaporean tourist Ramya Ragupathi, 37, was just finishing a massage in Ubud when the quake struck at 7.45pm local time.

“I was a little shaken. It was quite intense. I felt really woozy, and at first thought it was because of the massage. But then the receptionist got everyone to move and evacuate,” she said.

Ms Ragupathi, who owns a gluten-free food firm in Singapore, also said that local staff at her accommodation stayed calm and were very helpful even as the tremors were felt.

Australian tourist Michelle Lindsay said: “All the hotel guests were running so I did too. People filled the streets. A lot of officials were urging people not to panic.

Other witnesses said the quake got stronger over several seconds and rattled windows and doors in their frames.

Residents in Lombok’s main city Mataram described a strong jolt that sent people scrambling out of buildings.

“Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking,” Iman, a local resident in Mataram, told AFP.

Lights were swaying and all the staff and guests in the Ikan Bakar Pesona restaurant stood up when they felt the quake.

“I felt giddy,” said Singaporean doctor Edison Lauw, 54, who felt mild tremors in Banyuwangi, Java.

Separately, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake jolted the Mentawai Islands in West Sumatra on Sunday afternoon, but no tsunami alert was issued following the quake, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the epicentre was 38km south-west of Mentawai Islands and around 22km beneath the seabed.

The earthquake rocked the islands, a favourite among surfers, at 3.56pm local time (4.56pm Singapore time), and strong vibrations lasted for several seconds. No damage or casualties have been reported so far.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2010, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake caused a tsunami on the islands – displacing more than 2,000 families living on three affected islands. South Pagai was the worst-affected island, with 900 families who had to be relocated.

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



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis

India watchful amid developments in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s political crisis has a regional power closely watching developments. The return of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to power in Sri Lanka amid political turmoil has triggered concern in India, with analysts warning it could lead to a deterioration of ties with the island nation to its south-east and increase the influence of China, already making serious inroads into South Asia. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 26 and named his one-time rival as his replacement. The move plunged the country into political turmoil and a constitution


By The Straits Times
November 14, 2018

Analysis

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu


By China Daily
November 13, 2018

Analysis

Report of NK’s ‘undisclosed’ missile bases not new, S. Korea says

South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday played down a new report on North Korea’s “undisclosed” missile sites. South Korea’s government said that it’s going too far to call the North’s continued activity a “great deception” given that it has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report issued by Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The group said it has located 13 out of an estimated 20 missile operating bases undeclared by the secretive communist regime. “The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” the report


By The Korea Herald
November 13, 2018

Analysis

‘Forced repatriation’ to pose security risk

International crisis warns that forced repatriation of Rohingya refugees could pose serious security risks. The International Crisis Group has warned of serious security risks of “forced repatriation” of the Rohingya, just as Myanmar and Bangladesh prepare for the November 15 return of the refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. In a statement, the Brussels-based global advocacy body said Rohingyas strongly opposed the repatriation move and would do whatever they can to resist it. “This [forced repatriation] will increase tension in the camps and could lead to confrontations between refugees and Bangladesh security forces and greatly complicate humanitarian operations. “A botched repatriation attempt could potentially set back peace and development efforts by years,” said the statement released yesterday. It comes two weeks after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Analysis

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Analysis

US calls on China to remove missiles from Spratly Islands

For the first time, the United States called on China to remove missiles it deployed on three fortified outposts it built in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The United States called on China to withdraw its missile systems from disputed features in the Spratly Islands, and reaffirmed that all countries should avoid addressing disputes through coercion or intimidation,” the Department of State released in a statement on Saturday (Philippine time) after the high-level US-China diplomatic and security dialogue in Washington. Both US and China committed to supporting peace and stability in the South China Sea, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea in accordance with international law during the dialogue, it added.


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 12, 2018