98 Dead After Earthquake Hits Popular Tourist Island in Indonesia
At least 98 people were killed after a powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit a popular tourist destination in Indonesia on Sunday.
The earthquake’s epicenter struck the island of Lombok, according to CNN, and caused area buildings to crumble. An estimated 200 people were injured by falling debris during the event. Now, a massive effort is underway to evacuate some 200,000 people who were displaced by the quake.
Rescue workers, CNN explained, are attempting to move displaced people off the Gili Islands, a chain of small islands near Lombok. However, shallow waters hampered their efforts to dock on the pristine islands. So far an estimated 2,700 people have been moved.
"The lights went out... that's when it became chaotic. People were falling over each other trying to get out, and glass was shattering. We felt debris fall on to us,” Phillipa Hodge, who is on the Gili Islands, told the BBC. "I couldn't see my partner and I was shouting his name. Finally, we found each other and he had blood all over his face and shirt."
Thankfully, with the rising tide, ships will soon be able to dock once again for a mass evacuation.
"Everything started moving; the noise was deafening. We ran out into the street and a friend and I stood in the parking area hanging on to a parked car which was also swaying severely," Deborah Storck, a retiree on the island of Lombok, told CNN. "The friend I was with in the car park had a very lucky escape. A large wall fan fell off and landed in the chair she was sitting in before it ended up on the floor under the table."
The earthquake’s aftershocks continued to rock the region long after the initial quake, with some being felt in Bali. In the video below, tourists can be seen running for safety at their Bali hotel.
"I can't imagine what has happened in the villages close to (the epicenter)," Evan Burns, general manager of the Living Asia resort, told CNN. "It was quite bad. Many of our guests were panicking and it was our job to keep them calm."
Flights to and from both Bali and Lombok are running on schedule as of Monday, ABC reported. People are allowed back into their homes, but authorities are warning people to remain cautious of the structures they are residing in.