Updated casualties counts indicate that the series of severe earthquakes and aftershocks that rocked Lombok island in late July and early August killed over 550 people and injured 1500, and have left hundreds of thousands homeless. Most of the deaths occurred in the northern part of the island. This popular tourist spot, situated near Bali, was hit by two powerful earthquakes on July 29 and August 5. On August 21, Lombok was shaken by more tremors and aftershocks, the strongest measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where tectonic plates collide and many of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. In December 2004, a powerful and deadly 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed nearly 170,000 people in Indonesia alone.
During an earthquake, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), to move away from windows and exterior walls, and to not attempt to leave the building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from any tall structures, such as buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.
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