Thousands of homes destroyed in Indonesia quake


At least 91 people are dead and hundreds more injured as a magnitude 7.0 quake rocked Indonesia's popular island of Lombok on Sunday, according to Indonesian authorities and the U.S. Geological Survey. The death toll is expected to rise.

A magnitude-6.9 natural disaster was so strong it flattened more than 13,000 houses and prompted an exodus of tourists rattled by the second powerful quake in a week. Lack of heavy equipment was hampering attempts to find victims beneath the rubble of a mosque that collapsed in northern Lombok while villagers prayed inside, Nugroho said. The National Board for Disaster Management said two people died in Bali. More than 200 people were seriously injured. Thousands more people were displaced as thousands of buildings were destroyed.

A video of an Indonesian imam stoically reciting evening prayers in Bali as a deadly quake struck neighbouring Lombok has gone viral on social media, with internet users praising him for his unwavering faith.

Tourists have flocked to Lombok airport to leave the island immediately and airport authorities have requested additional flights to accommodate the influx. "A lot of officials were urging people not to panic". Most of the deaths were caused by collapsing houses.

At least 142 people have been killed by the strike - including two people in Denpasar, Bali, after being hit by a falling wall. The warning was lifted on Sunday after only small waves were recorded. "The lamp was shaking, and people were shouting 'Get out.' I ran out into the dark because the power cut off".

"There was a lot of screaming and crying, particularly from the locals", said Amis, from Brighton.

Travellers at the global airports in Lombok and Bali were thrown into panic and there was minor damage to the buildings but operations were not disrupted, officials said.

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"We will evacuate people off of the three Gili islands".

Officials warned that this figure could continue to rise as search and rescue teams continue to sweep the area.

Lombok, which is located east of Bali and makes up part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain, is a popular tourist destination known for mountains, beaches and surf. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees. In late 2004, a magnitude 9.1 natural disaster off the island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people in various nations around the Indian Ocean.

The quake struck Lombok in the early evening at a depth of 10 km (6 miles). "Everyone's a bit shaken, but all well, but people out in the villages or elsewhere haven't been so lucky, unfortunately". There had been a half-hour evacuation at the Lombok airport following the quake because the electricity went off.

"Bali. Trembling. So long", Teigen tweeted to her 10.6 million followers.

More than 100 aftershocks have rattled Lombok since the quake, which was so powerful it was felt on the neighbouring island of Bali.