Powerful 6.4-magnitude quake strikes Indonesia: USGS

Jakarta (AFP) –


A shallow 6.4-magnitude quake struck the Indonesian island of Lombok Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.

The powerful quake, whose epicentre was at a depth of seven kilometres (four miles), hit at 6:47 am local time (2247 GMT Saturday), the USGS said.

It struck 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the island's main city Mataram, the survey added.

Lombok in southeastern Indonesia is a popular tourist destination, and lies around 100 km east of the resort island of Bali.

Indonesia's geophysics and meteorology agency said at least 11 aftershocks were recorded after the 6.4-magnitude earthquake.

"So far we have not received any report on damages," agency spokesman Hary Tirto Djatmiko said in a statement. No tsunami alert was issued, he added.

People living near the epicentre felt a strong jolt.

"The earthquake was very strong... and everybody in my house panicked, we all ran outside," said Zulkifli, a resident of North Lombok, close to the epicentre.

"All my neighbours also ran outside and the electricity was suddenly cut off," he told AFP.

Indonesia, an archipelago of thousands of islands, sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismic activity hotspot.

It is frequently hit by quakes, most of them harmless. However, the region remains acutely alert to tremors that might trigger tsunamis.

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, in western Indonesia, killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.