BALI, Indonesia – A magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted Indonesia’s popular resort island of Bali on Thursday, injuring more than 50 people and sending others fleeing from their hotels and houses in panic.
Ceilings caved in at two high schools and several ancient Hindu temples were damaged, with stones tumbling to the ground and walls crumpling.
Some cars in the bustling capital were crushed by falling slabs of concrete.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centred 60 miles (100 kilometres) southwest of the island, famous for its resorts and spectacular surfing beaches. It hit 21 miles (35 kilometres) beneath the ocean floor.
Although not strong enough to trigger a tsunami, the quake was felt on neighbouring Java and Lombok islands.
“It knocked me off my motorcycle,” said one badly shaken Bali resident, Miftahul Chusna.
Candy Juliani, who works at the Sanur Beach Hotel, said guests ran from their rooms and into the street.
“We have special emergency routes for this type of situation,” she said. “But everyone was so scared, they pretty much just ignored them.”
More than 50 people were hurt, suffering everything from cuts and broken bones to head wounds, said Wayan Sudanti, a hospital spokesman.
Many were students and teachers who were injured when the ceilings in their classrooms collapsed, said I Gede Tejo from the local disaster agency.
Elsewhere, local TV showed children in red-and-white school uniforms crying as they poured into the streets, covering their heads with folded arms.
An airport and a shopping mall were also slightly damaged.
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in the westernmost province of Aceh.