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82 killed, hundreds wounded after magnitude 7 earthquake in Indonesia’s Lombok

Agency Press France

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

The powerful 6.9 magnitude earthquake and strong aftershocks rocked Bali and Lombok island of Indonesia, causing thousands of people to rush out of their homes and take outdoor shelters, reported CNN.

The quake, which was 31 kilometers (19 miles) deep and near Loloan on the north end of Lombok, also triggered a brief tsunami warning.

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The 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.

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

“People were panicking… especially because of the early tsunami warning,” he said.

Memories of the devastating 2004 tsunami which claimed 168,000 lives in Indonesia remain raw in the vast archipelago nation.

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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Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely

Thompson Reuters

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COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.

“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.

 

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