Thousands of tourists have found themselves stranded amid chaos after a powerful earthquake in Indonesia left 98 people dead and 236 severely injured.

The quake ruptured roads, flattened buildings, knocked out power to some areas and left thousands homeless.

Danish tourist Soren Pederson says Lombok has descended into chaos with desperation sparking robberies.

"It's chaos to say the least," he told "The whole island is abandoned. All the shops are being robbed by people and tourists and locals are taking food."


It comes as shocking footage emerged from British traveller James Kelsall showing tourists scrambling on-board a boat at Gili Trawangan, a popular island near Lombok.

"Evacuation on Gili Trawangan — only seen locals being evacuated so far, very few tourists … (There are) dramatic scenes here," Mr Kelsall said.

Saffron Amis is another traveller who remains stuck on the island after having slept "under the stars".

"Still stranded on Gili T," she said. "Two small boats came this morning, charging us more money than we have to be evacuated! Those filled up within second."

Earlier, she wrote: "Finding it impossible to get off of Gili T, all of the tourist shops are shut and people are panick [sic] jumping onto boats. It's going to be a long day."

There was still no power, she said.

Head of West Nusa Tenggara's tourism agency Muhammad Faozal said: "We cannot evacuate all of them all at once because we don't have enough capacity on the boats."

This was the second earthquake to hit Lombok in a week, with significant damage. Photo / Solo Imaji, Getty Images
This was the second earthquake to hit Lombok in a week, with significant damage. Photo / Solo Imaji, Getty Images

'Everyone just ran'

Thousands of homes and buildings were damaged and those displaced camped wherever they could — in sports fields and on roadsides, cobbling together ramshackle shelters and building campfires for warmth.


"We were sitting there having dinner at about 7 o'clock last night, we just felt a really big sort of shaking and the lights went off and everyone just ran," Australian tourist Kim Liebelt said as he waited with other travellers for a flight out at Lombok's international airport.

"And then the roof started falling down on us, rocks and rubble and then just everyone running to get away."

Videos also showed screaming people running in panic from a shopping centre and a neighbourhood in Bali where parked vehicles swayed.

"When it happened, we stood with residents in the middle of the street and watched houses collapse around us," said Yustrianda Sirio, supervisor of a group of university students from Java doing a community service program in East Lombok. "Many of us screamed hysterically."

He said the group already had been staying in tents after the July 29 quake, but now officials had told them to return to Java.

Model Chrissy Teigen, who was in Bali with singer-husband John Legend and their two children, live-tweeted the shaking.

"Bali. Trembling. So long," Teigen tweeted to her 10.6 million followers. Hours later, she asked news organisations not to write more stories about her lively stream-of-consciousness tweets, suggesting media focus instead on those who need help.

Advice to tourists

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel has said that "There is no information to suggest New Zealanders have been affected by this incident at this stage."

"There are currently 523 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Indonesia and fifteen registered as being in Lombok."

However, the ministry said that the number of travellers is "fluid and is likely to increase as New Zealanders in an affected location often register following a disaster".

It is advised that any unregistered New Zealand travellers should register their details on now, follow any instructions issued by local authorities and let family members in New Zealand know they are okay.

"New Zealanders requiring consular assistance can call the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta on (+ 62 21) 2995 5800."

Locals are still assessing the damage after what has been a very significant earthquake.