Huge natural disaster rocks Bali forcing locals to flee their homes

Lester Mason
October 11, 2018

The country was still reeling from an natural disaster and tsunami last month that killed more than 2000 people.

Both Bali and Papua New Guinea have been struck by quakes, with authorities issuing a tsunami warning for parts of PNG's coastline.

At least three people have been killed and four injured after a powerful natural disaster struck near the popular tourist island of Bali.

Thursday's quake was centred 124 kilometres east of Kimbe and about 200 kilometres south-west of the town of Rabaul at a depth of nearly 40 kilometres, just before 7am local time (8am AEDT) on Thursday.

The 6.0 magnitude struck just off the popular holiday destination of Bali.

"I felt it for about 10 seconds". People poured out of their houses.

The head of Indonesia's geophysics agency said there had been no reports of casualties or damage, although information was still being gathered, but the quake "didn't trigger any tsunami".

Bali is now hosting the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group with over 19,000 delegates and guests in attendance.

Some tourists and residents on Bali went outdoors as a precaution but then back to sleep when there was no tsunami warning.

And the country is still reeling from a devastating magnitude-7.5 quake and subsequent tsunami on the island of Sulawesi, which killed almost 2,000 people and displaced thousands.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that victims were crushed by collapsed buildings while they were asleep.

An estimated 80,000 people were displaced by the disaster, many squatting in tents outside their destroyed homes.

Possibly thousands of people are buried in areas where the force of the quake liquefied the soil and sucked houses into the earth.

Hazardous tsunami waves from the natural disaster were possible within 300 km of the epicentre along Papua New Guinea coastlines, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

"The search and rescue operation for the victims will end this Thursday afternoon", said Bambang Suryo, field director in Palu.

Over 5,000 people are missing from Petobo and Balaroa, as based on reports from village chiefs, the disaster agency has said.

"There are so many children still missing, we want to find them quickly", said Amin, who is from Balaroa and has relatives unaccounted for.

"Are they going to ask our permission before they convert this into a mass graveyard?", he added.

Indonesia has traditionally been reluctant to be seen as relying on outside help to cope with disasters, and the government shunned foreign aid this year when earthquakes struck the island of Lombok.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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