Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

Undersea Bali quake causes panic and damage but no deaths

The epicentre was 102 kilometres south-west of the island capital Denpasar and was 100 kilometres deep, monitors said

An Indonesian soldier looks at a Hindu temple damaged by an earthquake in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Reuters
An Indonesian soldier looks at a Hindu temple damaged by an earthquake in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Reuters

An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck south of Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday, causing minor damage and prompting residents and tourists to flee buildings.

The epicentre was 102 kilometres south-west of the holiday island capital, Denpasar, and was 100 kilometres deep, said the European earthquake monitoring agency.

No reports of casualties nor any tsunami warning was issued by either the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center or the Indonesian quake monitoring agency.

The US Geological Survey recorded the quake as having a preliminary magnitude of 5.7.

One resident said people in Denpasar ran out of their boarding house in pyjamas after feeling the quake.

A Twitter user with the handle Indounik in the city of Ubud, on Bali, said the quake was “strong enough to make me adopt the drop, cover and hold approach recommended to survive a quake”.

Another Twitter user, Marc van Voorst, described the quake as feeling like “a heavy truck or train passing by at close range”. He said there was no panic, even though his hotel in the Uluwatu area shook quite a bit.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency distributed a photograph of damage at the Lokanatha temple in Denpasar, showing smashed masonry lying on the ground. Bali is a predominantly Hindu enclave in overwhelmingly Muslim Indonesia.

Pictures of Indonesia's former presidents and offerings of Balinese Hindu called "Canang" are seen inside a school building, damaged following an earthquake in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Pictures of Indonesia's former presidents and offerings of Balinese Hindu called "Canang" are seen inside a school building, damaged following an earthquake in Bali. Reuter

Lius Winarto, a sales administrator at the Mercure Nusa Dua hotel, said by telephone a small part of the building’s roof had been damaged.

“We felt the quake quite strongly...but thankfully no one was hurt and there was only minor damage,” he said.

“Everything has gone back to normal now.”

There was also minor damage at a school, a house and a temple in different areas on the southern side of Bali, according to online portal Balipost.com.

The quake could also be felt in other cities on the neighbouring islands of Lombok and Java, Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency said in a statement.

A roof of a mosque in the city of Banyuwangi in East Java also caved in, another photo from the disaster mitigation agency showed.

The transport ministry said Bali airport was operating normally.

Indonesia suffers frequent earthquakes, sometimes causing tsunamis, because it lies on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

Its Moluccas islands were hit by a powerful 7.2 quake on Sunday that killed at least two people and prompted hundreds to flee their homes.

The most devastating tremor in recent Indonesian history was on December 26, 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a tsunami that killed about 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia.

A tsunami also hit the city of Palu in Sulawesi last year, killing thousands.

Updated: July 16, 2019 01:16 PM

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