6 Aug 2018

Andrew Little caught up in deadly Indonesia quake: 'It was pretty violent shaking'

10:07 am on 6 August 2018

Justice Minister Andrew Little was in Indonesia when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Lombok overnight, killing more than 80 people.

Cabinet MP Andrew Little addressing the public meeting in New Plymouth last night.

Cabinet MP Andrew Little addressing the public meeting in New Plymouth last night. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The quake struck Lombok at a depth of 10km, a week after a magnitude 6.4 quake killed 14 people on the island and briefly stranded hundreds of hikers on the slopes of a volcano.

More than 50 people were injured. The tremors prompted a large-scale evacuation of a nearby volcano.

Mr Little and Australian politician Peter Dutton, who were in Lombok for a conference, were evacuated to the local airport.

Mr Little told Morning Report the earthquake had left some of the conference delegates shaken.

"I think for a lot of people, in particular some of the other delegates there at the conference, they hadn't experienced an earthquake before and it was pretty terrifying and because we were at the top of the building it was shaking a lot, a lot of things falling over," he said.

"People fell to the ground... And then there was a massive power outage, went dark and then the power came back on within a few seconds.

"The lower floors we went down there was more damage visible [there] than at the top [floors]."

Along with some aftershocks, he said there was damage visible but there were no fatalities or major injuries around him.

"The only damage we saw in the hotel building was as we went down the staircase on the lower floors, certainly some of the plaster work had come apart, some of the beams were cracked and when we got out on the street frontage, there was quite bit of things that had fallen off the building."

There are currently nine New Zealanders registered as being on Lombok.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta was working to get more information following today's earthquake on the island.

All New Zealanders on Lombok are being advised to register their details on the ministry's safe travel website and let their families in New Zealand know that they are safe.

They can also contact the New Zealand embassy if they need assistance.

Overall 447 New Zealanders are registered as being in Indonesia.