By Trisha Sertori
DENPASAR, Indonesia | Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:10am EDT
(Reuters) – Indonesia’s resort island of Bali was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on Thursday, injuring dozens and sending tourists running out of hotels.
The Red Cross said 44 people in the south of the island suffered injuries, some with head injuries and broken bones from falling ceilings, with one person in a critical condition. It said one school and house collapsed .
The epicentre of the quake was about 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the island’s capital Denpasar, the U.S. geological survey said.
Caroline Mercier, a 40-year-old tourist in the island’s cultural centre of Ubud, said she was used to feeling quakes in California, but never like this one.
“It started at my feet and went all though my heart and head — it made me nauseous. My first reaction was to get out of the house. I was very confused when the roof started shaking,” she told Reuters.
Novotel Bali Benoa, one of many resorts in the luxury southern beach area of Nusa Dua, evacuated its guests as the hotel shook for a minute.
“The funny thing is that the foreign guests who were sitting in the lobby did not feel the shaking. They started running when hearing people say ‘there’s an earthquake’ while running down the lobby,” hotel worker Ariyanti told Reuters.
Nusa Dua will be the venue for a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders next month, including U.S. President Barack Obama, and an aftershock disrupted preparatory meetings as officials ran outside again.
“It’s hard to continue, moreover with two quakes. The mood must have been changed. And many members of delegations must return to their countries tonight,” the website of newspaper Kompas quoted an ASEAN director Djauhari Oratmangun as saying.
Some sunbathers in bikinis on the southern white sand beach at Kuta, popular with surfers and Australian tourists, also started running, though swimmers appeared not to notice, local website Detik said.
Endro Tjahjono, head of information at Bali’s meteorology agency, said there was no tsunami potential. He said cracks appeared in the walls and glass lobby windows of his office in Kuta, where cracks also damaged a Carrefour supermarket.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire” and gets regular earthquakes.