'It was just mayhem': Aussie tourist reveals earthquake terror in Indonesia

An Australian tourist who felt the impact of the deadly Indonesian earthquake has described the scenes of panic and chaos as he and his partner attempted to find their way out of their Bali hotel.

Christian Avant and his girlfriend were preparing to go to sleep on Sunday night when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the island of Lombok, killing at least 82 people and sending tremors and aftershocks through neighbouring Bali.

He told Sunrise they were also in a Bali last week when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck but said this one felt a lot bigger.

“When we ran down the corridor, the whole place was evacuating. All the maids were screaming… That’s when you know something is really wrong,” Mr Avant said.

Christian Avant was on the fifth floor of a Bali hotel when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the neighbouring island of Lombok. Source: 7 News

“We were on the fifth floor of the hotel, which is really not where you want to be.

“Everybody was crying and screaming and running down the stairs. We got out onto the street and it was just mayhem. People were in tears, just screaming.”

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the toll had risen 82 with hundreds others were injured. Earlier officials said at least 39 people had died.

A total of 65 of the deaths in North Lombok district, nine in West Lombok district, four in the provincial capital Mataram and two each in Central Lombok and East Lombok districts, Nugroho said.

 

Patients are evacuated outside to the Mataram City hospital parking lot after a strong earthquake in Mataram, Lombok island. Source: Reuters

Frightened people poured out of their homes to move to higher ground, particularly in North Lombok and Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, said Iwan Asmara, a Lombok disaster official.

Video showed screaming people running in panic from houses in a Bali neighbourhood and vehicles rocking.

On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets to an evacuation centre.g

‘We were lucky to get out’: Dutton flees Mataram hotel

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he was “very lucky” to escape a deadly earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok unharmed.

The senior MP was dining at a restaurant on the 12th floor of a hotel in the Lombok capital Mataram when the magnitude-7 quake struck.


Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was on the 12th floor of a hotel in Lombok when the quake hit

“We were knocked certainly to the floor,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday, adding that parts of the building were falling down and large cracks appeared on the facade.

“We were pretty lucky to get out,” he said.

“There was certainly a lot of structural damage to the building, everyone’s a bit shaken but all well.”

The cabinet minister was in Indonesia for a regional counter-terrorism conference with a delegation from Australian, including the Australian Federal Police commissioner.

Quake triggers tsunami warning

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake could be felt in Lombok. Source: US Geological Survey

Indonesian authorities have lifted a tsunami warning that was issued after the earthquake struck the popular tourist island.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, told MetroTV that the tsunami warning has ended.

She said the warning was for the lowest level of tsunami, and that small waves just 15 centimeters (6 inches) high were detected in three villages.