AN Irish couple caught up in the terrifying double earthquake in Indonesia have described their ordeal.
Yesterday’s 7.0 scale earthquake in Bali has so far claimed over 90 lives and left more than 200 injured, and is the second devastating quake to hit the area in two weeks.
The previous earthquake had a 6.4 magnitude and occurred a week before, claiming 14 lives.
26-year-old Rebecca McConnell and her partner have been travelling in Bali for the last three weeks.
Thankfully, both are safe, but Rebecca told Independent.ie about the terror they both experienced during the ordeal.
“I didn’t really know about the first earthquake as I was on the west coast at the time, far from where it hit,” she said.
“However yesterday evening, I was on the top of a bunk bed in a hostel in Juta, south Bali. I felt the bed shake slightly at first, then increasing in strength and it hit me that it was an earthquake.
“Severe terror entered my body and for a few seconds I was frozen, trying to remember what to do in this type of emergency. I then followed suit of the locals and headed outside the building.
“I know all earthquake routines tell you to stay inside and get under the table, but I figured the structure of this particular building did not look stable. The tremor lasted for around 20 seconds, then there was an aftershock around an hour or so later, which lasted for about 5 seconds.
“Being from Ireland, this was my first experience of a natural disaster and it was terrifying. I’ve never felt fear like that before. I made sure to message home to let my parents know I was OK, as during the previous earthquake we had no signal and they were worried sick.
“I got talking with a local and he explained how Indonesia is in the ‘ring of fire’ and therefore prone to earthquakes. He then told me about the 2004 earthquake that triggered a tsunami killing 200,000 people.”
More than 100 aftershocks have occurred in the area since yesterday’s quake.
The death and injury toll continues to rise, while many more have been left displaced due to the utter destruction of buildings and streets.
“The death toll is now at 91, and I am praying for the people of Lombok,” Rebecca added.