At least 91 people are thought to have died, with the death toll expected to rise, following an earthquake that hit the Indonesian Island of Lombok, near Bali. Tourists are being evacuated from Gili islands off Lombok.
The 7-magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday evening damaging homes, roads and infrastructure. Much of Lombok has been left without power and rescuers are struggling to reach hard-hit areas due to the damage.
Local authorities issued a tsunami warning shortly after the earthquake, but this warning has now been lifted.
The effects of the earthquake could be felt for several seconds in Bali, where witnesses say tourists and locals were running from hotels and restaurants. Reports have said, one person on Bali has died.
This devastation comes just one week after another earthquake hit Lombok killing 14 and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia, a popular tourist destination with a population of more than 260 million residents, sits on the Ring of Fire – an area known for volcanic activity.
Those travelling to the island’s or returning to the UK should be aware both Bali and Lombok airports have sustained minor damage but remain open and are operating normally.
Tourist’s in the area, whose accommodation has been affected by the earthquake, should check their travel insurance policy wording before contacting their insurer directly. Earthquakes and other climatic conditions are classed as Force Majeure, however this cover is often offered as an extension and not covered as standard.
If your policy does include Force Majeure cover, you will be entitled to compensation for any additional expenses needed to return home or move to a safer area. Your policy may also offer cover for expenses such as baby essentials, food or prescription medication. It is important to note, you will not be covered to curtail (come home early) your trip because you no longer wish to stay in the area.
Those due to travel to the area should check their policy for either ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’ or, again, Force Majeure cover. If the area you are due to travel to has been affected by the earthquake the cover will reimburse the cost of the holiday, however it will not cover if you simply no longer wish to travel to Indonesia.
Tourists in the area have taken to social media to share images of the devastation and also alert family members that they are safe.
Local authorities are asking everyone to remain calm and over the next week rescuers will attempt to reach areas that have not yet been searched.