DENPASAR: Indonesia’s resort islands of Bali and Lombok were rocked by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Sunday, triggering panic among holidaymakers and residents.
No official information about possible casualties was available more than two hours after the quake, which struck in the early evening after sunset.
The United States Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake was on land on Lombok, though initial reports put it just off the coast. It struck at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on Lombok and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano.
Officials said travellers at the international airports in Bali and Lombok were thrown into panic and there was minor damage to the buildings, but the operations were not disrupted.
The quake was felt for several seconds in Bali, where people ran out of houses, hotels, and restaurants.
“All the hotel guests were running, so I did too. People filled the streets,” said Michelle Lindsay, an Australian tourist. “A lot of officials were urging people not to panic.”
Other witnesses said the initial quake grew in intensity over several seconds, rattling windows and doors in their frames, and there were many aftershocks.
The country’s disaster management agency urged people to stay away from the sea and beaches. However, an initial warning of a tsunami with waves of up to 0.5 metre was later withdrawn.