1 dead, dozens injured by strong Indonesian quake

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 9:26 AM

A powerful undersea earthquake killed one person, injured dozens and damaged hundreds of houses on a remote island in central Indonesia, officials said Monday.

At least 20 people were hospitalized on Sumbawa 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 80 people were injured.

The quake struck at 3:41 a.m. near a small island chain just east of the Lombok resort island. It was on felt island, which is popular with Western tourists, but no damage was reported.

The temblor entered about 830 miles (1,335 kilometers) east of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, at a depth of 11 miles (18 kilometers).

Local government spokesman Abdul Wahab Usman initially said two people were killed, but later reduced the number to one without providing details.

A 50-year-old man was hit by falling debris in the town of Bima and died after being treated for seven hours at the local hospital, Usman said.

The quake badly damaged 720 houses, five schools and three government offices, 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 and volcanoes known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to seismic activity.

A huge quake off western Indonesia caused a powerful tsunami in 2004 that killed around 230,000 people in a dozen countries.