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Three die as yet another quake hits Indonesia; IMF summit shaken

Updated October 12, 2018

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A 6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes coast of Indonesia’s Bali and Java islands.
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes coast of Indonesia’s Bali and Java islands.

JAKARTA: An earthquake on Thursday killed three people in Indonesia and rattled hotels where IMF delegates are attending a major summit, a fortnight after a quake-tsunami killed more than 2,000 elsewhere in the archipelago.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Bali and Java islands in the early hours, injuring nearly 30 people and sending residents rushing into the streets.

Some attendees in Bali for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings this week evacuated their hotels as the quake shook the island.

“I felt the quake for at least 30 seconds and I panicked. At first I didn’t want to go out but then I decided to leave,” Katharina Sudiyono, an Indonesian attendee at the summit, said.

Peter Jacobs, head of the Indonesian Central Bank’s IMF-World Bank task force, said delegates in Bali’s Nusa Dua district for the summit were quickly informed of the situation.

“Many summit participants woke up and asked questions, but we immediately sent out information to them that there had been an earthquake and the impact in Nusa Dua,” he said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in Bali and the summit proceeded on Thursday uninterrupted.

“We send our condolences to those affected by the earthquake. Here in Bali, the earthquake has not caused significant damage nor any disruption to the meetings,” an IMF spokesman said.

The conference centre was designed to withstand seismic events, and participants had been told to remain there in the event of a quake.

In case of tsunami risk, attendees would be evacuated to a nearby building.

Holidayers in the island’s popular tourist districts also rushed into the streets as buildings swayed.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2018