Ottawa

Gatineau, Que., couple safe in Bali after earthquakes hit Indonesia

A Gatineau, Que., couple are safe after surviving two earthquakes in Indonesia, including a deadly quake Sunday that killed at least 32 people on the popular tourist island of Lombok.

Alexandria Duchaussoy-Girard and Olivier Hamel have survived 2 quakes in 2 weeks

While on vacation, Gatineau couple Alexandria Duchaussoy-Girard and Olivier Hamel have felt the effects of two earthquakes that have hit Indonesia in the past two weeks. (Submitted by Alexandria Duchaussoy-Girard)

A Gatineau, Que., couple are safe after experiencing a pair of earthquakes in Indonesia, including a deadly quake Sunday that killed at least 82 people on the popular tourist island of Lombok.

The 7.0-magnitude quake triggered a brief tsunami warning and damaged buildings as far away as the island of Bali, where Alexandria Duchaussoy-Girard and Olivier Hamel had been staying.

They were about 160 kilometres east of the quake's epicentre when it hit.

Video showed screaming people running in panic from houses in a Bali neighbourhood and vehicles rocking back and forth.

On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets to an evacuation centre.

'We were scared'

Everything in their hotel room trembled when the quake struck, said Duchaussoy-Girard, including the windows, the bed, and bottles of water.

"At first, we were scared. We didn't know what was going on, and we went downstairs as fast as we could," she said. 

She said everyone had spilled out into the streets after the initial tremor. Soon afterwards, they were hit with an aftershock. 

The couple wasn't immediately able to find out more about what was happening because they didn't have a good internet connection.

All they knew was that the airport was closed. 

"It was scary at first, but we're all OK," said Duchaussoy-Girard. 

A policeman in Bali, Indonesia, examines debris and crushed motorbikes following Sunday's major earthquake on nearby Lombok Island. (Johannes P. Christo/Reuters)

2nd earthquake felt on trip

Sunday's quake was the second fatal earthquake to hit Indonesia in the the past two weeks.

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Lombok on July 29, killing more than a dozen people — and Duchaussoy-Girard and Hamel said they also felt that one.

The couple said they have no plans to cut their Indonesian vacation short, and are hoping they won't experience more tremors. 

As of Sunday afternoon, there were no reports of any Canadian citizens being injured or stuck in the country, according to a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

The federal department is in contact with local authorities and stands ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens if needed.

There are currently 2,221 Canadians in Indonesia, the department said, with 480 registered in Bali.

Global Affairs encourages Canadians to stay connected to the latest travel advice and advisories at travel.gc.ca, on Twitter at @TravelGoC and @CanadaFP, and on Facebook.

Canadian citizens in Indonesia requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Canadian citizen services contact centre at 1-844-880-6519 or call the department's 24/7 emergency watch and response centre at 1-613-996-8885.

An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

About the Author

Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.

With files from Radio-Canada's Yasmine Mehdi

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