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A Night Time Rock-a-Bye South of Bali

Series of Moderate Earthquakes Off Bali’s Southern Shore on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Many people living in South Bali were awoken from their sleep at 1:45 am on Thursday, March 19, 2020, by the shaking produced from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean - 305 kilometers southwest of Kuta Beach at a depth of 10 kilometers below the earth's surface. 

The first seismic event was followed by a second almost simultaneous quake measuring 6.2 magnitudes at a similar depth of 10 kilometers located 246-kilometers south of Kuta Beach.

As the sun rose over Bali, another, the third earthquake hit south of Bali when a 4.5 magnitude quake at a depth of 27 kilometers struck south of Bali at 6.51 am.

The Meteorology, Climate, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) later refined the data for the three events, rating them in a range of 6.3 to 4.5 magnitudes for the sunrise seismic event.

Rahmat Triyono, the head of the Earthquake and Tsunami Department at BMKG, said there were a total of 10 lesser after-shocks that followed the 6.3 event with magnitudes ranging between 3.0 and 4.5. Triyono, quoted by Balipost.com, said the earthquakes were the result of the movement of plates in the subduction zone.

The Thursday morning quakes were felt in Denpasar, Central Lombok, East Lombok, West Lombok, Mataram, Kuta, West Sumbawa, Bima, Dompu, North Lombok, Reports on the intensity range from MMI IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) to III MMI. The higher MMI number would be noticed by many were awake at the time of its occurrence, while the lower number is the equivalent of a heavy truck passing by a household.

There are no reports of significant property damage or injuries linked to the spate of earthquakes that at no time posed a threat of a tsunami. 

BMKG experts recommend the public to check for damage at their homes and places of employment, ensuring no damage has occurred, and structures remain stable and intact. 

UPDATE 22 MARCH: 2:48 pm on Sunday, March 22, 2020, another earthquake joined the cluster measuring 5.2 M located at depth of 10 km 240 km southwest of Kuta.

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