Earthquakes cut power, topple buildings on Indonesian island of Lombok

This latest quake hit as relief work continues in the aftermath of two previous quakes to rock Lombok. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Earthquakes cut power, topple buildings on Indonesian island of Lombok

  • Strong earthquake rocks the Indonesian island of Lombok Sunday, triggering landslides and sending people fleeing into the streets
  • It was the third major quake in less than a month to rock the island, after deadly tremors on July 29 and August 5

MATARAM, Indonesia: A strong earthquake has cut power across the Indonesian island of Lombok and destroyed buildings as the tourist hotspot tries to recover from a temblor earlier this month that killed hundreds of people.
The shallow magnitude 6.9 quake that hit just after 10 p.m. Sunday was one of multiple powerful earthquakes in the northeast of the island that also caused landslides. The nighttime quake was followed by strong aftershocks.
An Associated Press reporter in Sembalun subdistrict, on the island's northeast in the shadow of Mount Rinjani, said the latest quake caused panic, but many people were already staying in tents following the deadly quake in early August and its hundreds of aftershocks.
There was no immediate official information about casualties.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said power was cut across the island, hampering efforts to assess the situation. Some houses and other buildings in Sembalun had collapsed, it said.
"People panicked and scattered," said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. "Some people are hysterical because they feel earthquake aftershocks that are harder than before. They heard a roar that probably came from landslides in the hills and Mount Rinjani."
Dwikorita Karnawatim, who heads Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, said buildings that haven't collapsed so far have suffered repeated stress, and authorities have urged people to avoid both the mountain's slopes and weakened buildings.
The quake lasting five to 10 seconds also was felt in the neighboring islands of Bali and Sumbawa and as far away as East Java and Makassar in Sulawesi. An AP reporter said tourists and villagers in Bali ran out of buildings in panic.
The daytime quakes that included a magnitude 6.3 jolt caused landslides on the slopes of Rinjani, an active volcano, and panic in villages. Video shot by the Indonesian Red Cross showed huge clouds of dust billowing from the mountain's slopes.
The disaster agency said one person died from a heart attack during the biggest of the daytime quakes and nearly 100 houses near the epicenter were severely damaged.
A magnitude 7.0 quake that struck Lombok on Aug. 5 killed 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced several hundred thousand people.
Mount Rinjani has been closed to visitors following a July earthquake that killed 16 people, triggered landslides and stranded hundreds of tourists on the mountain.
Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

 


Macron to offer solutions to French yellow vest grievances

Updated 2 min 34 sec ago
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Macron to offer solutions to French yellow vest grievances

  • His speech will be based on three months of national debate aimed at addressing the protesters’ concerns
  • The protesters see the centrist Macron as favoring the rich and want more income equality

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil long-awaited plans to quell five months of yellow vest protests that have damaged his presidency.
Macron will make a speech Thursday at the Elysee presidential palace based on three months of national debate aimed at addressing the protesters’ concerns through town hall meetings and collecting complaints online.
He is expected to respond to concerns over sinking purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents. He may also make it easier for ordinary people to initiate local referendums.
The protesters see the centrist Macron as favoring the rich and want more income equality.
Macron initially planned to make his announcements last week, but postponed them when the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral broke out.