'People panicked and scattered': second powerful Sunday quake hits Lombok
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'People panicked and scattered': second powerful Sunday quake hits Lombok

Bali: A strong earthquake has cut power across the Indonesian island of Lombok and destroyed buildings as the tourist hotspot tries to recover from a quake earlier this month that killed hundreds of people.

The shallow magnitude 6.9 quake (revised down from 7.0) that hit just after 10pm on Sunday was one of multiple powerful earthquakes in the north-east of the island that also caused landslides. The quake was followed by strong aftershocks.

A woman dries her laundry in front of her home destroyed in an earthquake earlier this month.

A woman dries her laundry in front of her home destroyed in an earthquake earlier this month.

Photo: AP

"We can hear it was so loud, the rumbling. We were all still outside in the tents, taking refuge from the last quake. We are fine, but the damages, it's worse now," said Ahmad Munadi in Sembalun Bumbung.

"The electricity was back on after the big quake [August 5], but after the big one just now, it's off again. It's pitch black again now. But we can see under the moonlight, the high dust clouds, landslides up in the mountains. We can't see anything till tomorrow, we won't know the full damage."

Hanlan, the head of Teluk Kombal village in north Lombok said villagers were staying outside their temporary shelter tents, watching for signs of tsunami and guarding whatever belongings they had left, afraid of looters. Like many Indonesians, Halan uses only one name.

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The earthquake and several after shocks were felt strongly in Bali.

Villagers sleep outside their tents afraid of more aftershocks in Teluk Koombal, Lombok on Sunday.

Villagers sleep outside their tents afraid of more aftershocks in Teluk Koombal, Lombok on Sunday.

Photo: Supplied

In Sembalun subdistrict, on the island's north-east in the shadow of Mount Rinjani, the latest quake caused panic, but many people were already staying in tents following the deadly quake in early August and its hundreds of aftershocks.

There was no immediate official information about casualties.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said power was cut across the island, hampering efforts to assess the situation. Some houses and other buildings in Sembalun had collapsed, it said.

"People panicked and scattered," said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. "Some people are hysterical because they feel earthquake aftershocks that are harder than before. They heard a roar that probably came from landslides in the hills and Mount Rinjani."

Dwikorita Karnawatim, who heads Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, said buildings that haven't collapsed so far have suffered repeated stress, and authorities have urged people to avoid both the mountain's slopes and weakened buildings.

The quake lasting five to 10 seconds also was felt in the neighbouring islands of Bali and Sumbawa and as far away as East Java and Makassar in Sulawesi. An AP reporter said tourists and villagers in Bali ran out of buildings in panic.

The daytime quakes that included a magnitude 6.3 jolt caused landslides on the slopes of Rinjani, an active volcano, and panic in villages. Video shot by the Indonesian Red Cross showed huge clouds of dust billowing from the mountain's slopes.

The disaster agency said one person died from a heart attack during the biggest of the daytime quakes and nearly 100 houses near the epicentre were severely damaged.

A magnitude 7.0 quake that struck Lombok on August 5 killed 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced several hundred thousand people.

AP with Amilia Rosa

To donate: Australian Red Cross Indonesian Earthquakes Appeal www redcross.org.au

CARE Australia’s Global Emergency Fund www.care.org.au/lombok