Lombok earthquake: Strong tremors shake Indonesian island

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
About 100 homes were severely damages in the latest quakes

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been shaken by two strong earthquakes, after weeks of tremors that have killed hundreds of people.

A magnitude 6.3 quake killed one person and wrecked homes near the town of Belanting on Sunday.

It was felt in the east of the island, triggering landslides and sending people fleeing into the streets.

Officials later reported a 7.0 tremor in the same area. There is no word on any casualties in that quake.

The biggest quake in recent weeks - of 6.9 magnitude - killed more than 460 people on 5 August.

It levelled homes, mosques and businesses, displacing hundreds of thousands, including many tourists.

In the first in the series, on 29 July, a 6.4 magnitude quake trigged landslides in the mountain region of the island and killed at least 16 people.

What happened on Sunday?

Sunday's first quake, at a depth of 7.9km (4.9 miles), "caused people to panic and flee their homes", national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told local media.

One person died from a "violent shock", local officials said. About 100 homes were severely damaged, they added.

Image source, Fahad Attamimi/Reuters
Image caption,
Travellers were evacuated from Lombok International Airport during Sunday's quake

"I was driving to deliver aid to evacuees when suddenly the electricity pole was swaying," East Lombok resident Agus Salim told news agency AFP. "People started to scream and cry. They all ran to the street."

In Mataram, the island's capital, lights went out in a shopping centre and people ran from their homes for open fields, eyewitnesses said.

Endri Susanto told AFP: "People are traumatised by the previous earthquakes, and aftershocks never seem to stop."

The second quake, south of Belanting, was recorded at a depth of 10km.

Media caption,
'Expect strong Lombok quake aftershocks'

Lombok has suffered more than 5 trillion rupiah ($342 million; £268 million) in damages following the 5 August earthquake, authorities said last week.

Lombok is a roughly 4,500 sq km (1,700 sq miles) island east of the slightly larger island of Bali.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

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