REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Open spaces in the city of Mataram, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, were full of evacuees in emergency tents after a new quake 6.9 on the Richter Scale hit the island with epicenter in East Lombok on Sunday (Aug 19) night. More evacuees set up tents in open squares in front of the State-owned Television Broadcasting Station and near the Islamic Center in Udayana Street, and other places.
Indonesian Agency of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) stated in its Twitter account that 22 aftershocks occured since Sunday evening to Monday (Aug 20) morning. It came with magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 5.8 on the Richter Scale. Of the 22 incidents, three aftershocks were felt by residents.
Earlier on Sunday, many evacuees has began to return to their houses after previous quakes. A major aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.4 and 6.5 on the Richter scale in midday on Sunday forced them to run back to the evacuation camps.
The first and most devastating quake hit Lombok on July 29 with the hardest hit North Lombok. It killed more than 469 people.
The July 29's quake was followed by major and minor ones aftershocks but the one on August 19 night was a new one, not an aftershock of the previous quake, the Meteorology and Geophysics office (BMKG) said. BMKG said it could not give yet details of any casualty and damage to property caused by the new quake.
Though string in magnitude the new quake was not expected to inflict serious losses in life and property as most people of Lombok have been on guard as a result of the trauma caused by the previous quakes.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) in cooperation with the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), prepared to send relief aid and equipment to Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province. It was again rocked by a powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale on Sunday evening (Aug 19).
"BNPB Chief Willem Rampangilei has coordinated with the TNI Chief. TNI's Hercules planes in Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in Jakarta and in Abdurahman Saleh Air Force Base in Malang, will transport relief aid. Several warships are also made ready to send aid if needed," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the agency's spokesman, said in a statement, here, Sunday evening.