Powerful Earthquake Kills 14 On Tourist Island Lombok

People were woken in the middle of the night by the violent rumbling of the earth.

SEMBALUN, Indonesia (Reuters) -- A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist island of Lombok in Indonesia on Sunday killing 14 people and sending villagers fleeing from their beds into open fields to avoid collapsing buildings.

The quake, which rocked the island early in the morning when many people were still asleep, injured 162 people and damaged thousands of houses.

Electricity was cut off in the worst-hit area, Sembalun, a sparsely populated area of rice paddies and the slopes of Mount Rinjani on the northern side of the island.

A 30-year-old Malaysian woman visiting Mount Rinjani, a popular trekking destination, was among those killed, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency spokesman.

People's houses were completely destroyed during the quake. Image: Getty Images.

He said the area was temporarily closed to climbers because there were reports of landslides. Hundreds of climbers are being evacuated from the Rinjani national park and 115 have been safely escorted out, Nugroho said.

“The most pressing needs now are medical personnel, stretchers, health equipment, kids wares and food,” Nugroho said.

An emergency tent was set up on a street in Sembalun to treat the injured because the local hospital was damaged, and those in a critical condition were taken to other hospitals.

“It happened so suddenly at around 6 in the morning. Suddenly everything simply collapsed,” said Siti Sumarni, a Sembalun resident. “My child was inside the house, thankfully he survived.”