Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency says the death toll from the earthquake on Lombok has risen to 91 and could rise further as rescuers still haven't reached some of the worst affected areas in the north of the island.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there is "massive" damage in north Lombok from the quake that struck yesterday.

He said thousands of houses and other buildings have been damaged and most of the deaths counted so far were caused by collapsing houses.

Foreign and Indonesian tourists are being evacuated from popular holiday islands off the northwest of Lombok.

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Sutopo said there were no fatalities among tourists on the three islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. He said three ships had evacuated at least 1000 tourists. Four agencies including the military and the national search and rescue agency were involved in the evacuation.

The quake struck Lombok and shook neighbouring Bali.

It was the second deadly quake in a week to hit Lombok. A July 29 quake killed 16 people and damaged hundreds of houses, some of which collapsed in the magnitude 7.0 temblor, killing those inside.

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

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

Sutopo said there were hundreds of injured. "People panicked and scattered on the streets and buildings and houses that had been damaged by the previous earthquake had become more damaged and collapsed," he said.

Patients are evacuated outside a hospital, in Bali, Indonesia. Photo / AP
Patients are evacuated outside a hospital, in Bali, Indonesia. Photo / AP

Many victims were treated outdoors because hospitals were damaged in the quake while the night-time search and rescue effort had been hampered by electricity and communications blackouts.

The quake, measured at 7.0 magnitude by Indonesian authorities and a still-powerful 6.9 by the US Geological Survey, struck at a depth of 10.5km in the northern part of Lombok and triggered a tsunami warning.

Frightened people fled their homes to move to higher ground, particularly in North Lombok and Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province.

The tsunami warning was lifted after waves just 15cm high were recorded in three villages, said Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

"I was watching TV when I felt a big shake," said Harian. "The lamp was shaking, and people were shouting 'Get out.' I ran out into the dark because the power cut off."

At least 65 of the deaths were in North Lombok district, nine in West Lombok district, four in the provincial capital Mataram and two each in Central Lombok and East Lombok districts said.

The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating. There had been a half-hour evacuation at the Lombok airport following the quake because the electricity went off.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains.

Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

'We are on stilts. It felt like a ride'

Houses damaged by an earthquake are seen in North Lombok. Photo / AP
Houses damaged by an earthquake are seen in North Lombok. Photo / AP

The earthquake came as a shock whether the person experiencing it was a politician, a celebrity or a local resident.

Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was on the 10th floor of a hotel in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, wrote on Facebook that his room shook violently and walls cracked.

"It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams. Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors," he wrote.

US television host and celebrity tweeter Chrissy Teigen was on the nearby island of Bali with her husband John Legend, the singer, and their two young children as the earthquake struck. Teigen tweeted: "Bali. Trembling. So long." She added: "Oh man. We are on stilts. It felt like a ride."

A resident of Mataram told AFP: "Everyone immediately ran out of their homes, everyone is panicking". An unnamed man told the BBC: "They were initially just little shocks but then they started to get bigger and bigger and people started to shout 'earthquake', then all the staff panicked and rushed out of the building".

Australia's Home Affairs Minister tweeted that he and his delegation were safely evacuated in darkness from a Lombok hotel. Peter Dutton said the quake "was powerful enough to put us on the floor" and cut power.

- AP, Telegraph Group Ltd