7.0 quake rocks eastern Indonesia,91 dead

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JAKARTA, Aug 6 (AA/APP):At least 91 people died when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook eastern Indonesia on Sunday, said an official.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), in a statement confirmed the death toll in the earthquake and aftershocks on the island of Lombok.

Noting that most of the casualties occurred in the northern part of the island, Nugroho said more than 300 others were injured in the earthquake.

He also underscored that both domestic and foreign tourists were evacuated to safe zones on Gili Islands, near the coast of Lombok Island.

The earthquake damaged over 1,000 houses and the search and rescue teams backed by helicopters continue efforts in the area.

Out of the 91 people who had lost their lives, at least two of them were in Bali Islands.

So far, 47 aftershocks were detected with a smaller magnitude, the spokesman said in an earlier statement.

Nugroho had said several paramedics were dispatched to the disaster-hit area and survivors were shifted to safer areas and provided with blankets, tents and basic foodstuff.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his “deep sorrow” over the deadly earthquake and called on all teams to conduct search and rescue operations in the best way possible.

The earthquake was centered 27 kilometers (17 miles) northeast of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok — a popular tourist destination — 15 km (9 miles) under the surface, the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) said earlier.

A tsunami alert, issued earlier for the region, was lifted, the agency added.

Meanwhile, Praya International Airport is operating normally after a disruption in flights due to a power outage from the quake, airport officials said.

Last week, 16 people were killed when a magnitude 6.4 quake struck the same region, leading to the evacuation of more than 1,000 mountaineers.