A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck deep in Indonesia's Bali Sea region on Tuesday morning, followed by aftershocks of 6.1 and 6.5 in the resort islands. The quakes sent panicked tourists and residents running out of their homes and hotels.
People in neighbouring regions of East Java, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara provinces also felt the tremors and panicked as buildings swayed for several seconds.
There are no reports of casualties or damage to property so far. Indonesian and US geological agencies pegged the magnitude at 7.1, with no threat of a tsunami. The earthquake was centred 181 kilometres northeast of Gili Air, a tiny island near the coast of Lombok Island, next to Bali, at a depth of 513.5 kilometres, Reuters reported.
The deep earthquake occurred due to “normal faulting withing the deeper portion of the Java arc subduction zone”, the United States Geological Survey stated in a report. Deep-focus earthquakes such as these cause less damage on the ground surface, but can be felt at great distances from their epicentres, it stated.
The vast archipelago country is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. In 2021, an earthquake in the hilly Karangasem triggered landslides and cut off at least three villages, killing at least three people. A magnitude 5.6 earthquake last year killed over 300 people and injured several hundereds in West Java's Cianjur city.
In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries including Indonesia.