Magnitude 7 quake rocks Indonesia; death toll rises to 39

 

A strong earthquake struck Indonesia's popular tourist island of Lombok on Sunday, reportedly killing dozens of people, a week after another quake in the same area killed 16 people.

The head of the disaster management agency in Indonesia's West Nusa Tenggara province, Muhammad Rum, says the death toll from the earthquake had risen to 39.

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Officials initially reported that at least three people had been killed.

The latest quake, which triggered a brief tsunami warning, also shook neighboring Bali island.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.0 quake struck early Sunday evening at a depth of six miles. Its epicenter was about one mile east-southeast of Loloan.

A man walks inside a cathedral where debris has fallen after an earthquake in Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018. (Firdia Lisnawati / Associated Press)

Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency issued a tsunami warning after the quake struck.

Najmul Akhyar, district chief of North Lombok, told MetroTV that at least three people had been killed.

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National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told KompasTV that the quake strongly jolted Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, and may have caused damage there.

He said the quake was also felt in parts of neighboring Bali island.

A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

11:45 a.m.: This article was updated with officials reporting 39 deaths.

7:35 a.m.: This article was updated with a government official’s announcement of 3 fatalities.

This article was originally published at 5:40 a.m.

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