900 tourists being evacuated from Indonesia’s tiny islands after quake

900 tourists being evacuated from Indonesia’s tiny islands after quake

An shallow natural disaster measuring 7.0 struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, killing dozens of people and injuring many more, authorities said on Monday.

Bali's global airport suffered damage to its terminal but the runway was unaffected and operations had returned to normal, disaster agency officials said.

"One Indonesian tourist died in Gili Meno, several were injured, mostly suffering from broken bones", rescue official Agus Hendra Sanjaya told AFP, referencing the middle island.

Rescuers assisted by troops searched for survivors amid the rubble of houses, mosques and schools that were among the thousands of buildings destroyed in the latest disaster, which struck on Sunday evening.

The island was already reeling from a magnitude 6.4 quake on July 29, which killed 16 people.

Indonesian security forces and emergency workers raced Monday to rescue survivors from the ruins of a powerful natural disaster on Lombok that killed at least 82 people, as strong aftershocks sparked terror on the holiday island that suffered another deadly quake just a week ago.

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The quake, measured at 7.0 magnitude by Indonesian authorities and a still-powerful 6.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 10.5 kilometres (6 miles) in the northern part of Lombok and triggered a tsunami warning. "We are all queueing at the port, but there's not enough boats", she said tearfully.

Officials issued a tsunami warning and urged people to move away from the ocean.

Hundreds of bloodied and bandaged victims were treated outside damaged hospitals in the main city Mataram and other hard-hit parts of the island.

At least one person was killed by falling debris and dozens of buildings and temples were damaged on the majority-Hindu island, said I Wayan Karnawan, the head of the local disaster mitigation agency in Bangli regency.

Outside the hospital, the rubble-strewn streets of Mataram were empty, save for a few survivors picking nervously through the ruins.

A total of 65 of the deaths in North Lombok district, nine in West Lombok district, four in the provincial capital Mataram and two each in Central Lombok and East Lombok districts, Nugroho said.

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"We need heavy equipment because some mosques have collapsed and we suspect some worshippers are still trapped inside", he told Metro TV.

"But there was no taxi, no transport, no plan for evacuation".

Australia's home affairs minister tweeted that he and his delegation were safely evacuated in darkness from a Lombok hotel where they have been staying during a regional security conference.

"Walls cracked, it was quite impossible to stand up", he said.

The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating Sunday night, according to the director general of civil aviation.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and numerous world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 quake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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