The central island of Lombok in Indonesia was hit on Sunday, July 29th by a powerful earthquake at around 7.00 am local time (00:00 GMT), killing at least 14 people.
Thousands of tourists visit the Lombok island in Indonesia every year, as it is popular for its crystal-clear beaches and mesmerizing hiking trails. It is located at about 25 miles (40 km) east of the capital of Indonesia, Bali.
However, last Sunday morning was not a good one, as a powerful 6.4 magnitude quake hit the island. According to the officials, at least 14 people are dead, more than 160 injured and thousands of homes damaged.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 31 miles (about 50 km) north-east of Mataram, a city located in northern Lombok. The US Geological Survey said that 60 other smaller earthquakes followed and the largest recorded one had a 5.7 magnitude.
One of the spokesmen of the country’s disaster agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, mentioned that the majority of casualties occurred when debris and falling blocks of concrete hit the victims.
“The main focus now is evacuation and rescue. Some of the injured are still being treated at clinics,” he mentioned in an interview.
Additionally, he posted on his Twitter account some photos of damaged and collapsed buildings, as well as streets covered in rubble.
Dampak gempa 6.4 SR di 28 km barat laut Lombok Timur kedalaman 10 km pada 29/7/2018 pukul 05.47 WIB, beberapa bangunan dan rumah mengalami kerusakan di Sambelia Lombok Timur. BPBD masih melakukan pendataan. pic.twitter.com/NaaDmgrr43
— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) July 28, 2018
Vinayak Gaikwad, who is a BBC Marathi journalist and who happened to be on Gili Trawangan island at the time of the event, described the first minutes following the powerful earthquake:
“The tremors were strong – I noticed waves in the hotel pool. A group of us ran out of the hotel. Thirty minutes later there was the first strong aftershock. The locals were worried because many of their structures are made from wood and bamboo, but the tourists were the most scared.”
Indonesia is located in the so-called Ring of Fire, which is an area in the Pacific Rim that is frequently hit by quakes and volcanic eruptions. In fact, more than 50 percent of active volcanoes above sea level in the entire world is part of this ring.