Mataram earthquake triggers panic among citys residents

Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The 5.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara Province, on Thursday, at around 8:02 a.m. local time has triggered panic among local residents, including those working at the city governments offices.

Several civil servants were spotted rushing out of their offices to gather at disaster meeting points while waiting for the tremors to end. Meanwhile, several housewives hurried to their childrens schools to pick them up.

According to M. Amin, a teacher of the Public Primary School SDN 25, all pupils of his school were allowed to go home as a precautionary measure against the aftershocks.

The workers, present on the second floor of their office buildings, began to panic, though the tremors were not as strong as the two deadly earthquakes that had hit several parts of Lombok Island on July 29 and August 5, 2018.

Due to the fact that Indonesia lies on the Pacific ring of fire, it is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Over the past few months, a string of earthquakes had rocked Lombok Island, including two of strong intensity in July and August, leading to serious catastrophes.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the strong earthquakes, including the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook Lombok Island on Aug 5, had killed at least 555 people and caused injuries to 829 others.

Most fatalities were residents of the North Lombok District areas due to their proximity to the strong earthquakes epicenter. The repeated earthquakes also damaged 23,098 houses and led to the forced displacement of 134,236 people.

In response to the catastrophes, the central government had set a six-month deadline to complete the reconstruction of houses damaged by the earlier earthquakes.

"The reconstruction must be completed in six months time. The president has ordered the reconstruction (of the damaged houses) after the emergency response period is over," Vice President Jusuf Kalla had stated during his recent visit to Lombok Island.

Reporting by Rahmad Nasution

Source: ANTARA News

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