Another strong quake hits Indonesian island, causing landslides

Sembalun – A strong earthquake jolted the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, causing landslides on Mount Rinjani and damaging buildings, as it tries to recover from a temblor earlier this month that killed hundreds of people.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake, which was centred in the northeast of the tourist island, at magnitude 6.3 with a depth of 7km. It was felt on the neighbouring island of Bali and was preceded a few minutes earlier by a magnitude 5.4 quake, also in Lombok's northeast.

An Associated Press reporter on Lombok said the tremor caused landslides on the slopes of Rinjani and panic in villages. Video shot by the Indonesian Red Cross showed huge clouds of dust billowing from the mountain's slopes.

The shaking toppled motorcycles and there was damage to buildings in Sembalun subdistrict, including a community hall that collapsed. The hall had sustained damage in earlier quakes, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Homes and a mosque were also damaged, he said.

He said so far there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities, but information was still being collected.

A magnitude 7.0 quake that struck Lombok on August 5 killed 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced several hundred thousand people.

Mount Rinjani has been closed to visitors following a July earthquake that killed 16 people, triggered landslides and stranded hundreds of tourists on the mountain, an active volcano.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.