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In recent weeks, the volcanic island of Lombok, in Indonesia, has been battered by a series of powerful earthquakes, each greater than M6 and each located deep beneath Lombok's volcanic complex. The very presence of the volcano naturally leads to public concerns that these earthquakes are in some way related and we could expect an eruption to follow.
Lombok, a popular tourist destination for many Australians, shot to worldwide attention when two devastating quakes killed nearly 500 people (the first M6.4 on 29 July and the second almost M7 on 5 August). Pictures were seen on Australian media of clearly distressed Aussies queuing at the airport to get out as quickly as possible.
Reality - Ground - Reports - People - Quakes
The reality on the ground, however, was far worse, with reports of more than 350,000 people displaced by the quakes. On 19 August, two more large earthquakes rocked the island, the first M6.3 and the second even larger at M6.9.
For those who live through earthquakes, the greatest anxieties often come from the long, drawn-out period of aftershocks that follow the main event. Many Indonesians have been living in makeshift shelters, uncertain of whether their homes are structurally stable, and painfully aware that fresh, damaging quakes happen any moment.
Lombok - Neighbour - Bali - Destination - Choice
Lombok is perhaps not as well-known as its western neighbour, Bali, but remains a beautiful destination of choice. This island, like many of the Indonesian archipelago, lies on the infamous ring of fire. Just south of Lombok, tectonic plates are colliding at some of the fastest rates in the world (greater than 7cm per year), in a process known as subduction, where one plate slides under the other deep into the mantle. It's the stresses from subduction that causes many earthquakes to occur, and it's the heating up of the subducting plate and subsequent melting that leads to many volcanoes on the...
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