Tourists panic as quake rattles Bali

DENPASAR, Indonesia - Tourists fled their hotels in panic on Bali Wednesday after the popular Indonesian holiday island was rattled by an early morning earthquake.

Foreign tourists past in front a tower warning of tsunami in Kuta near Denpasar, on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on March 22, 2017. Photo: AFP

The 5.5-magnitude quake struck inland about 10 kilometres (six miles) northeast of the Balinese capital, Denpasar, and not far from the concentration of holiday resorts in the south of the island.

There were no reports of casualties and damage after the quake struck just after 7am (2300 GMT Tuesday) at a depth of 118 kilometres, but some holidaymakers got a shock.

"Dozens of our guests ran out of their rooms when the quake happened," Nyoman Pasek, a staff member at the Hotel Sayang Maha Mertha in the popular tourist area of Kuta, told AFP.

"Everything is now under control again, back to normal." Carla Beharry, a Twitter user on the island, wrote: "Definitely felt the biggest EARTHQUAKE I've ever felt this morning in Bali." Local residents also said the quake briefly caused panic on the neighbouring holiday island of Lombok.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt strongly in the capital Denpasar for five seconds.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.