Evening the earth shook

A former Bega woman has described the moment she felt the ground tremble beneath her when a magnitude seven earthquake hit Lombok and Bali, resulting in a death toll of 82. 

Stephanie Gibbs was staying in Kuta, near Denpasar on Bali, when the quake occurred on Sunday evening, 27 kilometres north-east of northern Lombok. 

“My family and I were walking back to the hotel from dinner and saw people suddenly running out to the streets from hotels,” Ms Gibbs said. 

“I thought there maybe had been a fight or something at first, or perhaps a bomb had gone off as we could see powerlines shaking and bats flying off in all directions.

“Then we realised it was an earthquake and it took a few seconds before the ground stopped moving.”

She said about 20 minutes later they were back at their room when they felt the aftershock.

“It was pretty scary. The aftershock was actually really big, so even though the main quake was over, we were still really concerned for safety,” Ms Gibbs said.  

“I didn’t really know what to expect next.” 

She heard there had been some damage to a few department stores, including one they had been in on the morning of the quake.

As they were staying near a beach they were on alert in case of tsunami warnings, but Ms Gibbs said everything seemed to have calmed down by Tuesday, when she spoke to the Bega District News.

“I haven’t seen any damage here, and apparently what there has been was only very minimal,” she said.  

“If you hadn’t felt it, you wouldn’t even know. But it’s certainly been the big conversation topic between locals and tourists.”

When asked if she was planning on cutting her visit to Bali short and returning early, Ms Gibbs replied she was definitely staying on for about another week to complete her trip. 

“Life seems to be going on as normal here!” she said. 

Fairfax Media reported 20 aftershocks have been recorded and the earthquake was felt in other parts of Indonesia.