MATARAM, Indonesia- A strong earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok Sunday, triggering landslides, damaging buildings and sending people fleeing just two weeks after a tremor killed more than 480 people there.
The 6.3-magnitude quake, centred in East Lombok, struck at a relatively shallow depth of seven kilometres (four miles) and was felt across the island, officials said.
It was the third major quake in less than a month to rock the island, after deadly tremors on July 29 and August 5 and numerous aftershocks, but this time there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.
"The earthquake caused people to panic and flee their houses," national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Metro TV.
"There have been no reports of death or (serious) damage but people are traumatised." Landslides were reported in a national park on Mount Rinjani where hundreds of hikers had been briefly trapped after the quake in late July. The park has been closed since then.
Local disaster mitigation agency spokesman Agung Pramuja said several houses and other structures in the district of Sembalun, on the slopes of Mount Rinjani, collapsed on Sunday after being damaged by the previous two quakes.
The structures included checkpoints once used by trekkers climbing the mountain, Pramuja said, adding that the exact number of damaged buildings was still being checked.
Residents said the latest earthquake was felt strongly in East Lombok.
"I was driving to deliver aid to evacuees when suddenly the electricity pole was swaying. I realised it was an earthquake.
"People started to scream and cry. They all ran to the street," East Lombok resident Agus Salim told AFP.
The tremor was also felt in the island's capital Mataram and on the neighbouring resort island of Bali.
"Everybody ran outside their house. They're all gathering in an open field, still terrified," said Endri Susanto, a children rights activist in Mataram.
"People are traumatised by the previous earthquakes and aftershocks never seem to stop." .
'RING OF FIRE'
The latest tremor comes two weeks after a shallow 6.9-magnitude quake on August 5 levelled tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok.
At least 481 people died and tens of thousands were injured.
The hardest-hit region was in the north of the island, which has suffered hundreds of aftershocks since.
A week before that quake, a tremor surged through the island and killed 17.