August 30, 2023
JAKARTA – A strong, deep 7.1-magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks rattled Bali and several other islands on Tuesday, sending panicked tourists into the streets but causing no major damage.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the quake hit at 3:55 p.m. Central Indonesia Time (WITA) and was followed by four other weaker shocks. No tsunami warning was issued
The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the Java Sea, around 163 kilometers north of North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and a depth of 525 km.
“I felt it was shaking strongly for quite a long time. It woke me up,” a Denpasar resident Wayan Dharma told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Other Bali residents said a second aftershock sent “longer and stronger” tremors than the first.
“When the first earthquake struck, I woke up my husband. Not long after that, the second earthquake struck, so we immediately took our children outside,” Ardylla Yuliacitra, 31, told AFP.
“The first earthquake made me sway like on a boat, and the second made my house tremble.
” The US Geological Survey reported a 5.4-magnitude and a 5.6-magnitude aftershock within minutes of the initial quake.
Hotels evacuated their guests as staffers checked beaches for fear of a possible tsunami.
“We calmed [guests] and provided mineral water and towels for those who were evacuating. Then after 15 to 20 minutes, when things felt safe, the staff invited guests to return to their rooms,” Nimas Ayu, spokesperson of the Artotel hotel in Bali’s eastern Sanur area, told AFP
Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency chief I Made Rentin said the earthquake was felt by people all over the resort island.
“However, so far, there is no report of significant damage as a result of the earthquake. Our teams are carrying assessments as they are still collecting reports from the people,” Rentin said.
The tremors were also felt in the nearby islands of Lombok and Sumbawa.
BMKG has urged people to keep calm and not be influenced by hoaxes spreading after the earthquake.
In December, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rattled East Java and Bali, with an epicenter reported at a depth of 10 km around 305 km southwest of Denpasar. It did not trigger a tsunami.
The archipelago experiences frequent earthquakes due to its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.
In November, a 5.6-magnitude quake hit the populous West Java province on the main island of Java, killing 602 people.
A major earthquake off Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Dec. 26, 2004, set off an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people and affected multiple countries, as far away as Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. (dre)