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Lombok hit by 5.9 magnitude tremor days after deadly earthquake

Posted: 2:19 AM, Aug 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-09 08:19:39Z

Four days after a massive earthquake  killed at least 347 people  on the Indonesian island of Lombok, a 5.9 magnitude tremor hit the island, sending frightened residents onto the streets.

Thursday's seismic event follows a 6.9 magnitude quake Sunday that flattened homes and stranded thousands of people on Lombok's northern coast and the nearby Gili Islands.

The northern part of Lombok is more residential and less developed than the resort-filled south. Thursday's quake could be felt on Bali, another popular resort island in Indonesia.

Endri Susanto, who runs a nongovernmental organization assisting with relief efforts, said the earthquake felt very strong in Mataram, a city on Lombok's west coast.

Susanto told CNN by phone that people started screaming when Thursday's quake hit. Soon after, ambulances started whizzing by, sounding their sirens. He said friends in central Lombok had told him that houses there had started to crack.

"More damage, more trauma, more loss -- people are scared," Susanto said. "People are very scared to go to their houses and very scared to stay in their houses."

Susanto predicted there would be less damage in the north, as most buildings had collapsed during Sunday's quake.

A third quake

It is the third major seismic event to hit Lombok in less than two weeks. A shallow,  6.4 magnitude earthquake struck  on July 29, killing more than a dozen people and stranding hundreds on top of Mount Rinjani, a popular hiking area.

It's unclear how many people were directly affected by Thursday's quake, but the area surrounding its epicenter was hit hard Sunday.

More than 165,000 people have been displaced in the wake of the Sunday temblor, Indonesia National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, according to state-run Antara News Agency. Nearly 1,500 were injured, he said.

Sunday's quake also stranded tourists on Lombok and the popular Giili Islands to its west, famous for its white sand beaches and clear waters.

Photos from Indonesian rescue authorities showed thousands of people crowded on the beach awaiting rescue.