2 killed by strong central Indonesian quake

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2009 10:55 PM

A strong undersea earthquake killed two people and damaged buildings on the remote island of Sumbawa in central Indonesia, officials said Monday.

At least 20 people were hospitalized on the island after the 6.7-magnitude temblor, many of them with broken bones, said Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Health Ministry's crisis center. He said at least 40 people were injured.

The quake struck at 3:41 a.m. local time (1941 GMT) near a small island chain just east of the Lombok resort island. It had a depth of 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) and the epicenter was about 830 miles (1,335 kilometers) east of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Two people were killed in a part of Sumbawa called Ambalawe, local government spokesman Abdul Wahab Usman said.

"They were hit by a collapsing building," Usman said. "There are believed to be many injuries, but we are still checking."

The quake damaged streets and schools, while a landslide blocked a main road linking the town of Bima to the remote districts, he said.

Indonesia is still clearing the rubble from a devastating 7.6 magnitude quake on West Sumatra that killed more than 1,100 people in September.

Indonesia, a vast island nation of 235 million people, straddles a series of fault lines, making it extremely prone to volcanic and seismic activity.