Singapore minister K. Shanmugam caught in Lombok quake, says chaos at airport

Singapore minister K. Shanmugam caught in Lombok quake, says chaos at airport
PHOTO: Facebook/K.Shanmugam SC

SINGAPORE - Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said on Monday (Aug 6) that he is waiting for a flight out of Lombok, after he was caught in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the Indonesian resort island on Sunday evening.

Mr Shanmugam is in Mataram, Lombok with an 11-member Singapore delegation for a sub-regional counter-terrorism meeting co-hosted by Indonesia and Australia.

He was working on his laptop in his hotel room on the 10th floor when the room suddenly shook violently.

In a Facebook update on Monday, Mr Shanmugam said that the delegation was only able to grab the most essential items from their hotel rooms before evacuating.

on Facebook

Caught in an earthquake in Lombok - update ———————————————— Thank you everyone for the kind thoughts and...

Posted by K Shanmugam Sc on Sunday, 5 August 2018

Mr Shanmugam took with him his laptop with government emails, he said, adding that they were only able to get more items out of the hotel on Monday morning.

He also shared photos of his bathroom in his hotel room, showing wall tiles that came loose. Other photos showed buildings with cracks and shattered glass on the street.

6.9 magnitude quake in Indonesia kills 82, injures hundreds

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    A powerful quake which struck the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok has killed 82 people and wounded hundreds, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said early Monday, with thousands of buildings left damaged.

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    The 6.9 magnitude tremor, which triggered panic among tourists and locals on Sunday evening, was also felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, one of Southeast Asia's leading tourist destinations.

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    Nugroho said an initial tsunami warning which was later cancelled had sparked terror as residents scrambled to reach safer ground.

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    Most of the victims in the latest disaster died in mountainous northern Lombok, away from the main tourist spots on the south and west of the island. Thousands of people were evacuated to outside shelters.

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    The US Geological Survey said the shallow quake hit northern Lombok just 10 kilometres underground and was followed by two further secondary quakes and nearly two dozen aftershocks.

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    Electricity was knocked out in several parts of the city and patients were evacuated from the main hospital, witnesses and officials said.

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    In the neighbouring resort island of Bali people could be heard screaming as locals and tourists ran onto the streets.

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    Bali's international airport suffered damage to its terminal but the runway was unaffected and operations had returned to normal, disaster agency officials said.

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    Hundreds of bloodied and bandaged victims were treated outside damaged hospitals in the main city Mataram and other hard-hit parts of the island.

Sharing more details of his experience on Sunday evening, he said the group had waited by the roadside before heading to another hotel, which was low-rise and had three floors.

A man walking past debris which fell from a signboard outside the Santika hotel following a strong earthquake in Mataram, Lombok, on Aug 5, 2018.

No Singaporeans injured in Lombok quake so far; embassy to closely monitor situation

However, as they arrived there, "people were running out", he added.

Eventually, they went to the airport,where they waited at the airport police post.

"The police officers there were kind," he said, though the airport was chaotic with a lot of people.

In his post, Mr Shanmugam said that he is currently waiting for a flight out of Lombok and thanked everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers.

Indonesia's resort islands of Bali and Lombok were hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Sunday evening. At least 82 people were killed and hundreds were wounded, with thousands of buildings damaged.

The quake, which struck at a depth of 15km off the north coast of Lombok, prompted a tsunami warning which was later lifted at 8.25pm local time.

In an earlier Facebook post, Mr Shanmugam noted that while the Singapore delegation was safe, there were casualties among other guests.

on Facebook

Caught in an earthquake in Lombok ———————————————- Our delegation is in Mataram, Lombok for a security conference. I...

Posted by K Shanmugam Sc on Sunday, 5 August 2018

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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