REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The death toll of the latest powerful earthquake that rocked Lombok Island and surrounding areas in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, rose to 10, from the four reported earlier. Meanwhile, 24 other injured in the incident.
Based on data collected on Monday until 10:45 a.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB), the 6.9-magnitude earthquake destroyed seven homes and damaged 146 homes, as well as six places of worship, according to a statement issued by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). Efforts to collect data regarding casualties and damages were hampered by a power outage that also cut the lines of communication.
Of the 10 casualties, four were found in East Lombok, five in Sumbawa Besar, and one in West Sumbawa. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of BNPB, said rescue operations and aid deployment have been intensified and there has currently been adequate relief aid for every victim of the earthquake.
Meanwhile, at least 101 aftershocks jolted Lombok Island, as of Monday at 11 a.m., following the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked the island on Sunday evening (August 19). Of the total aftershocks, nine were felt by the local inhabitants of Lombok, according to information from the Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency (BMKG).
BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati explained it was not an aftershock, but a new main shock. The epicenter was at 8.28 south latitude and 116.71 east longitude.
"By observing the epicenter, we can see it formed a new epicenter cluster, with the distribution heading eastward up to the north of West Sumbawa. So, we conclude that the earthquake is a new activity, which is different form the 7-magnitude quake that jolted West Nusa Tenggara province on August 5," Dwikorita said in a press conference at her office on Sunday (Aug 19) night.
The earthquake, with VII MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity), was felt strongly by inhabitants of East Lombok, North Lombok, West Sumbawa, Sumbawa Besar, and Mataram. It lasted for 5 to 10 seconds.
Inhabitants of Bali, Jember in East Java, and Makassar in South Sulawesi also felt the tremor. Many Lombok inhabitants rushed out of buildings in a panic, as there were also a power outage and landslides on Mt Rinjani slope following the earthquake.
Following the powerful quake, Lombok was jolted by frequent aftershocks at magnitudes ranging between 5.0 and 5.8 on the Richter scale. Earlier in the day, earthquakes of magnitudes 5.4 and 6.5 jolted Lombok Island at 12:06 and 12:10 local time (WITA), respectively. On August 5, 2018, Lombok Island was devastated by a 7-magnitude earthquake that killed some 460 people.