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7.0 quake hits Indonesia near Bali, at least 39 dead

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    A man walks inside a cathedral where debris has fallen after an earthquake in Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

    AP

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    Indonesian soldiers tend to a woman injured in the earthquake at a makeshift hospital in Lombok, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

    AP

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    People affected by the earthquake rest at a temporary shelter in Lombok, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

    AP

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    Police at the scene of debris on top of a motorcycle after an earthquake in Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

    AP

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People affected by the earthquake rest at a temporary shelter in Lombok, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

AP Enlarge

JAKARTA, Indonesia  — A strong earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday, killing at least 39 people and shaking neighboring Bali, one week after another quake on Lombok killed more than a dozen.

The head of the disaster management agency in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province, Muhammad Rum, says the death toll has risen to 39.

The latest quake, which triggered a brief tsunami warning, damaged buildings as far away as Denpasar on Bali, including a department store and the airport terminal, where ceiling panels were shaken loose, authorities said.

Video showed screaming people running in panic from houses in a Bali neighborhood and vehicles rocking. On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets to an evacuation center.

The quake, recorded at magnitude 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 6 miles in the northern part of Lombok.

“I was watching TV when I felt a big shake,” said Harian, a Lombok woman who uses one name. “The lamp was shaking and people were shouting ‘Get out.’ I ran out into the dark because the power cut off.”

A tsunami warning was lifted after waves just 6 inches high were recorded in three villages, said the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati.

Najmul Akhyar, district chief of North Lombok, told MetroTV that there was an electrical blackout so he was unable to assess the entire situation, but that at least three people had been killed.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt strongly across Lombok and Bali and had damaged houses on both islands.

Iwan Asmara, a Lombok disaster official, said people poured out of their homes in panic to move to higher ground, particularly in North Lombok and Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, which includes Lombok.

The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating Sunday night, according to the director general of civil aviation. There had been a half hour evacuation at the Lombok airport following the quake because the electricity went off. TV showed crying women consoling each other outside Lombok’s airport.

A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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