Bali earthquake kills three, injures seven

People searching through debris near a house after an earthquake and landslide in Bali on Oct 16, 2021. PHOTO: BPBD HANDOUT

JAKARTA (AFP) - Three people were killed Saturday (Oct 16) when an earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island Bali, the disaster agency said.

The 4.8 magnitude quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10km north-east of the town of Banjar Wanasari. Shallow quakes tend to do more damage than deep tremors.

Two people died when the quake triggered a landslide that buried their house in Bangli regency while another person was killed in the port town of Karangasem, officials said.

The death toll was not expected to rise, they added.

"The quake was felt strongly for five seconds," said disaster agency spokesman Abdul Muhari. "People were panicking and ran from their houses when the quake hit."

The tremor's epicentre was far from the main tourist hub in Bali, which is slowly reopening to international visitors after a pandemic shutdown.

Indonesia experiences frequent quakes due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity where tectonic plates collide that stretches from Japan through South-east Asia and across the Pacific basin.

In January, more than 100 people were killed and thousands left homeless by a 6.2-magnitude quake that struck Sulawesi island, reducing buildings to a tangled mass of twisted metal and chunks of concrete in the seaside city of Mamuju.

A 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu three years ago left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

Bali reopened for international tourists on Thursday after 18 months of pandemic restrictions, but they are only expected to start arriving later this month.

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