Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indonesia's Bali rattled by large quake

Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island (strictly speaking, the province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali).

With a population recorded as 3,891,000 in the 2010 Census,[2] the island is home to most of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. In the 2000 census about 92.29% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. Bali, a tourist haven for decades, has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck off Indonesia's popular resort island of Bali on Thursday, sending people fleeing from their homes and hotels in panic. No tsunami alert was issued, and there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Some roofs collapsed, and witnesses told local radio and television stations they saw cracks in the walls of buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 was centered 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of the island. It struck 36 miles (60 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor.

"It knocked me off my motorcycle," said one resident, Miftahul Chusna.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

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