Undersea earthquake strikes south of Bali, causes brief panic

Undersea earthquake strikes south of Bali, causes brief panic

Bali quake at temple Jul 16
Balinese men check a damaged temple in Bali, Indonesia on Jul 16, 2019. (Photo: AP/Firdia Lisnawati) 

DENPASAR: An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck south of Indonesia's Bali on Tuesday (Jul 16), said the European earthquake monitoring agency EMSC, causing some residents and visitors on the tourist island to flee buildings.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake and there was no tsunami warning issued by the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Damaged structures in Bali after the earthquake. 
A video and photos posted by Indonesia's disaster agency BNPB on Twitter show damaged structures in Bali after the earthquake. 

The epicentre was 102km southwest of the island's capital, Denpasar, and was 100km deep, the EMSC said.

The US Geological Survey recorded the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7.

One resident said people in Denpasar ran out of their boarding house in pyjamas after feeling the quake.

A Twitter user with the handle Indounik in the city of Ubud on Bali said the quake was "strong enough to make me adopt the drop, cover & hold approach recommended to survive a quake".

Another Twitter user, Marc van Voorst, described the quake as feeling like "a heavy truck or train passing by at close range". He said there was no panic, even though his hotel in the Uluwatu area shook quite a bit.

Bali quake on Jul 16 at a temple
Two teachers walk past tiles which fell off the damaged roof of a school building after an earthquake hit the area in Jimbaran on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Jul 16, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka) 

Balinese man stands near a damaged temple after the quake on Jul 16, 2019.
Balinese man stands near a damaged temple in Bali, Indonesia after a quake on Jul 16, 2019. (Photo: AP/Firdia Lisnawati) 

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency distributed a photograph of damage at the Lokanatha temple in Denpasar, showing smashed masonry lying on the ground. Bali is a predominantly Hindu enclave in overwhelmingly Muslim Indonesia.

Lius Winarto, a sales administrator at the Mercure Hotel Nusa Dua, said by telephone a small part of the building's roof had been damaged.

"We felt the quake quite strongly ... but thankfully no one was hurt and there was only minor damage," he said.

"Everything has gone back to normal now."

There was also minor damage at a school, a house and a temple in different areas on the southern side of Bali, according to online portal Balipost.com.

The quake could also be felt in other cities on the neighbouring islands of Lombok and Java, Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency said in a statement.

A roof of a mosque in the city of Banyuwangi in East Java also partially collapsed, another photo from the disaster mitigation agency showed.

The transport ministry said Bali airport was operating normally.

Indonesia suffers frequent earthquakes, sometimes causing tsunamis, because it lies on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

The magnitude-6.1 earthquake damaged the Lokanatha temple in Denpasar, Bali
Photos posted on BNPB's Twitter page show the damage to the Lokanatha temple in Denpasar, Bali, after an earthquake struck south of the island. 

Residents survey the damage caused by an earthquake in Bali
In this photo tweeted by BNPB, residents survey the damage caused by an earthquake in Bali. 

READ: Thousands evacuated after 7.3-magnitude quake in Indonesia's Maluku kills at least 2

Its Moluccas islands were hit by a powerful 7.3-magnitude quake on Sunday that killed at least two people and prompted hundreds to flee their homes.

The most devastating tremor in recent Indonesian history was on Dec 26, 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia.

A tsunami also hit the city of Palu in Sulawesi last year, killing thousands. 

Source: Reuters/nc(mn)

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