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Fresh quake shakes Indonesia’s Lombok


The Indonesian island of Lombok has been shaken by another strong earthquake, after weeks of tremors that have killed more than 476 people.

Sunday’s quake measured magnitude 6.3 and was at a depth of 7.9km (4.9 miles). It caused landslides but it is not known if there are any casualties.

Residents said the tremor was felt strongly to the east of the island, and sent people fleeing into the streets.

The island has been rocked by hundreds of quakes and tremors since 29 July.

The biggest quake – of 6.9 magnitude – was on 5 August, and killed more than 460 people.

It levelled homes, mosques and businesses, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, 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?

“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 in the west, lights went out in a shopping centre and people ran from their homes for open fields, eye witnesses said.

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

Officials said they were still assessing the situation following the latest quake on Sunday.

“The earthquake caused people to panic and flee their homes,” the national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told local media.

“There have been no reports of death or (serious) damage but people are traumatised.”

He added that landslides were reported in a national park where hundreds of hikers had been trapped after the first quake.

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.