ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Earthquake off Bali
A powerful earthquake jolted Indonesia’s popular resort island of Bali on Thursday, causing widespread panic and injuring at least 50 people, many with broken bones and head wounds.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.0-magnitude quake was centered 100 kilometers southwest of the island. It hit 60 kilometers beneath the ocean floor.
Indonesia’s Metrology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG) said the earthquake had a 6.8 magnitude and was 10 kilometers deep, 143 kilometers southwest of Nusa Dua.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no current tsunami warning in effect.
Although not strong enough to trigger a tsunami, the quake was felt on neighboring Java and Lombok islands, hundreds of kilometers away.
“It knocked me off my motorcycle,” said one badly shaken Bali resident, Miftahul Chusna.
Candy Juliani, a public relations officer for the Sanur Beach Hotel, said terrified guests fled the building.
“We have special emergency routes for this type of situation, but everyone was so scared, they just ignored them,” Juliani said.
At least 50 people were hurt, many with cuts, broken bones and head wounds, said Wayan Sudanti, a hospital spokesman.
Three were in critical condition.
Strong shaking was felt for several minutes in the main tourist district of Kuta, said Endro Tjahjono from the Bali office of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.
“There was panic, everyone ran out of the buildings. When we returned to our office building, we saw some cracks on the wall and plaster had come off the walls,” he said.
Schools, office buildings and hospitals were evacuated.
A number of buildings suffered minor damage.
Caroline Mercier, a 40-year-old tourist in the island’s cultural centre of Ubud, said she was used to feeling quakes in California, but never like this one.
“It started at my feet and went all though my heart and head -- it made me nauseous. My first reaction was to get out of the house. I was very confused when the roof started shaking,” she said.
Novotel Bali Benoa, one of the many resorts in the luxury southern beach area of Nusa Dua, evacuated its guests as the hotel shook for a minute.
“The funny thing is that the foreign guests who were sitting in the lobby did not feel the shaking. They started running when hearing people say ‘there’s an earthquake’ while running down the lobby,” hotel worker Ariyanti said.
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