Indonesia earthquake: 10 dead on tourist island Lombok

Damage is seen following an earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia, July 29, 2018

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Officials say the earthquake has damaged many buildings

A powerful earthquake has struck a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, killing at least 10 people.

The 6.4 magnitude quake hit the central Indonesian island of Lombok just before 07:00 local time (00:00 GMT) on Sunday.

The island attracts tourists from around the world and is located about 40km (25 miles) east of Bali.

Many buildings have been damaged and some of the injured are being treated in hospital, officials say.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the earthquake was 50km (31 miles) northeast of the city of Mataram, in northern Lombok.

“People are gathering on the streets and empty fields to avoid collapsing buildings,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country’s disaster agency, posted on Twitter [in Indonesian].

“The main focus now is evacuation and rescue. Some of the injured are still being treated at clinics.”

He posted images showing collapsed buildings and streets littered with rubble.

One witness told AFP news agency about the chaos that followed the earthquake.

“The earthquake was very strong… and everybody in my house panicked, we all ran outside,” he said. “All my neighbours also ran outside and the electricity was suddenly cut off.”

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.

More than half of the world’s active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

A magnitude 6.5 quake struck off the north-east coast of Sumatra island in 2016, killing dozens of people and displacing more than 40,000.