Powerful Twin Earthquakes Strike Off Coast of Indonesia

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Powerful Twin Earthquakes Strike Off Coast of IndonesiaJAKARTA, Indonesia — Powerful earthquakes struck off the coast of the Indonesian resort island of Lombok near the popular resort island of Bali on Sunday evening, triggering a tsunami warning and prompting panicked residents and visitors to flee to safety.

The earthquakes — with magnitudes of 6.8 and 7.0 — struck off Lombok’s north coast and were felt on Bali, just to the west, Indonesia’s national Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said.

Television footage showed residents and tourists fleeing for cover on both islands.

Minutes later, in what was most likely an aftershock measuring magnitude 5.6, the same region was jolted again, the agency said.

Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of the meteorology agency, said in a televised statement that there were about 12 aftershocks or “smaller earthquakes.”

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Board, said in a statement that the two major earthquakes were heavily felt in Mataran, the capital of Lombok Island, prompting residents to flee their homes. They were also felt in Sumbawa Island, to the east of Lombok.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed the 7.0 quake in a post on Twitter.

The Indonesia agency reported that the first two earthquakes both struck at 6:45 p.m. western Indonesian time. They occurred in the same area that a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of July 29, killing 17 people and injuring more than 160.

That quake sent villagers fleeing into open fields to avoid collapsing buildings.

The agency initially reported that Sunday’s earthquakes did not generate a tsunami, but within minutes put out a warning that a possible tsunami had formed off the north coast of Lombok. It said a tsunami has been detected in the Carik and Badas areas.

The head of the meteorology agency said there were increased wave levels of 14 centimeters, or 5.5 inches, in the village of Carik, in north Lombok.

“We predict the highest wave levels to be only one-half a meter,” she said.

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