Bali settles down after earthquake panic

Top News | AGENCIES 17 Jul 2019

Schools, houses and temples were damaged in the 5.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Bali yesterday, but the holiday island was returning to normal.

Government buildings and a Nusa Dua hotel complex were shaken and some schools closed early, Indonesian media reported. Tourist activities were also running normally.

"There are at least 27 reports of damaged buildings so far, mostly in southern Bali," said Made Rentin, head of the Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency.

But, he added, "people's activities and all activities in tourism are running normally."

The earthquake struck at 8.18am 83 kilometers southwest of Nusa Dua, a tourist hub in the south. It was felt across Bali, on Lombok Island and in parts of East Java.

It did not affect I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

"Flight operations, both takeoffs and landings, are running normally," said airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered 82km southwest of the island's capital Denpasar. The tremor was relatively deep at 91km but no tsunami warning was issued.

Residents of Bali described panic as the quake hit.

"I was carrying my baby when I felt the jolt - it was strong, I ran outside immediately and saw many people were already fleeing to the street," Denpasar resident Komang Sudiani said..

Photos circulated by Indonesia's disaster agency showed minor damage to shop fronts and temples on the predominantly Hindu island.

"We have received reports of damage such as fallen roof tiles and broken glass in several houses and offices," said Rahmat Triyono, head of the agency's earthquake and tsunami division.

More than 20 homes, schools, temples and offices were moderately damaged by the tremor, predominantly in Badung district, near the tourist hub of Kuta, Bali authorities said.

On Sunday, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku island chain in eastern Indonesia, killing three people and damaging nearly 1,000 houses.

Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 people, with another thousand declared missing.

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