THERE was widespread panic in one of Bali’s most populated tourist areas when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on August 5.
For one of our Fairfax photographers holidaying in the region, Scott Calvin of the Manning River Times in Taree, that fear quickly escalated with the potential threat of a tsunami.
He described on his Facebook page the moment the earthquake hit.
“Suddenly the big earthquake hit. The earth was moving violently, a wall fell down,” he said.
“We were outside next to the pool, which had waves breaking over the sides.’’
Until then Scott had been enjoying his annual pilgrimage to Bali. However, his tranquil holiday was dramatically upended.
“It was about 8pm and I was in the restaurant in the Puri Oka Motel when a small tremor slowly hit,’’ he explained.
“It continued, but I kept eating enjoying the gentle ride. But the Balinese were screaming, so I spent the time grabbing them and telling them everything was okay, although I didn’t really know if it was.”
It’s weird to have the ground you are standing on moving enough to knock you over and the noise is a massive rumble.Scott Calvin
A seasoned traveller, Scott reasoned the quake had hit Lombok.
“So the next worry was a tsunami,’’ he said.
“I told everyone to move to high ground – like our verandah. We’ve had three aftershocks so far and things are really tense.
“It’s weird to have the ground you are standing on moving enough to knock you over and the noise is a massive rumble. Then we had another earthquake. It again started as a gentle sway, but the rumble came again, so we ran outside.
“This time people were hugging and really freaking out. That was the second earthquake, so sleep right now is not so easy.”
He said they were so intense it was difficult to remain standing as the ground severely shook for about 30 seconds.
“My girlfriend Sam comes tomorrow (Monday), so I hope things calm down by then,” he said.
“I have told everybody to expect aftershocks, but not one as big as that last one. l am not looking forward to the news from Lombok.’’
Scott confirmed that about 10 aftershocks rumbled through the evening with the ground “moving like a shiver”.
On Monday morning, disaster officials said the death toll had risen to 82 and that thousands of people had been evacuated from Lombok. Many of the dead were from northern and western parts of Lombok.
Scott is due to return to Australia on August 18. His girlfriend has decided to cancel her travel plans.