Deadly 6.4-magnitude quake hits tourist island near Bali

The strong quake was centred about 160km north-northeast of Maumere town on the island of Flores the USGS said at a depth of 570km

A powerful 6.4-magnitude quake struck the popular Indonesian tourist destination Lombok Sunday, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens more, officials said.

East Lombok was worst hit with at least 10 deaths, including a tourist from Malaysia, said an official from Indonesia's disaster agency.

The number of casualties could increase as data was still being collected from other locations on the island, he said.

Mount Rinjani National Park chief, Sudiyono, said more than 800 tourists were registered to climb Rinjani, an active volcano, when a strong quake rocked Lombok early Sunday. "Five hundred are in Segara Anakan area, and 60 are in Batu Ceper", said the head of Rinjani national park Sudiyono, who goes by one name.

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo boarded a military helicopter on Monday morning to inspect the area.

The quake also dislodged tonnes of rock and mud on Mount Rinjani, leaving people with no easy way down. However, he said, Sunday's quake was the strongest he had experienced on the island. Moreover, about a few dozens of homes have also been damaged due to the quake.

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The volcanic Mount Rinjani, Indonesia's second-highest volcano with a height of 3,726 metres, is famous for its natural beauty and a popular destination among tourists and mountain climbers.

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"The tremors were strong - I noticed waves in the hotel pool", BBC Marathi journalist Vinayak Gaikwad said from Gili Trawangan Island, about 4 miles away from the epicenter. "All my neighbours also ran outside and the electricity was suddenly cut off".

No tsunami alert has been issued.

"They calmed down and returned to their room once we explained the natural disaster did not trigger a tsunami, everything is back to normal now", receptionist Ni Nyoman Suwarningsih told AFP.

The quake hit early in the morning when many people were still sleeping.

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In 2004, a devastating magnitude 9.3 undersea quake off the coast of the western Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered tsunamis.

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