08/20/2018, 00.00
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Major earthquake hits Lombok with ten people dead and widespread damages

by Mathias Hariyadi

Seismologists recorded a series of tremors, starting before midday and throughout the day yesterday, the strongest just before midnight. The epicentre was 30 kilometres northeast of East Lombok, at a depth of 10 kilometres. A convent in Mataram serves as a base camp for rescuers and volunteers.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The toll from the latest quake to hit Lombok Island (West Nusa Tenggara province) is ten people dead and more material damage. This follows a series of quakes that devastated the island in the past few weeks.

Seismologists recorded a series of tremors starting yesterday around midday that continued during the day. The first, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, occurred just before noon, triggering landslides on the slopes of Mount Rinjani. Almost 12 hours later, a 6.9 quake hit with at least five significant aftershocks.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), said that experts placed the epicentre of the earthquake at 30 kilometres northeast of East Lombok, at a depth of 10 kilometres.

The quake was also felt in the provincial capital, Mataram, which is located in the central-northern part of the island.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Sister Claudia Ak, a nun with the Servants of Christ in Mataram, said that the quake caused ongoing power outages but that she was not worried.

“Various activities have been suspended again,” she explained. “Many homes and buildings on the island have crumbled. Our convent has been open to volunteers and rescuers who set up their base camp in our compound.”

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