Earthquake on Indonesian resort island Bali kills at least 3

Three people were killed and seven others injured when a moderate earthquake and aftershock hit the Indonesian resort island of Bali early on Saturday.

The earthquake struck just before dawn, causing people to panic. It has struck just as the island begins to reopen to tourism as the pandemic abates.

The US Geological Survey said the 4.8 magnitude quake was centered 62 kilometers northeast of Singaraja, a port city in Bali. Its shallow depth of 10 kilometers may have amplified the amount of damage.

A 4.3 magnitude aftershock followed. This earthquake was relatively deep, at 282 kilometers.

Landslides triggered by an earthquake

Gede Darmada, head of the island’s Search and Rescue Agency, said the agency is still collecting damage and casualty updates.

He said the injuries included broken bones and head injuries.

The earthquake triggered landslides in a hilly district, killing at least two people and cutting off access to at least three villages, Darmada said.

He toppled houses and temples in Karangasem, the area closest to the epicenter, killing a three-year-old girl who was affected by the falling debris, he said.

“Almost 60% of the houses in our village have been damaged and can no longer be inhabited,” said I Nengah Kertawa, chief of Bunga village in Karangasem, one of the worst affected communities.

1,000 cases per day

Houses and government facilities were damaged in Trunyan and villages in Kintamani, a popular tourist destination with a beautiful lake.

Known as the “Island of the Gods”, Bali is home to more than four million people, mostly Hindus, in this predominantly Muslim nation. It is famous for its temples, picturesque volcanoes and beautiful white sand beaches.

The island reopened to international travelers on Thursday for the first time in more than a year after the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia fell dramatically.

Airport security staff line up for a briefing for the reopening of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Thursday. (Firdia Lisnawati / Associated press)

The country has recorded around 1,000 cases per day over the past week after peaking at around 56,000 new cases daily in July.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and lines of fire. fault that surrounds the Pacific.

The last major earthquake was in January when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500. More than 92,000 people were displaced after hitting Mamuju and Majene districts in the province of West Sulawesi.

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