A prolonged 5.5 Richter scale earthquake with an epicenter just 7 kilometers west of Bali's capital, Denpasar, occuring at a depth of 80 kilometers beneath the ocean struck at 4:35 p.m. local time on Wednesday, September 15, 2004. The quake sent many residents and visitors scurrying to the streets in search of safer open spaces.
While there were no reports of damage to local structures and buildings resulting from the earthquake, the same cannot be said for the resulting panic.
The sustaining quake, which rumbled for nearly half a minute, is blamed for one death and two injuries. A 33 year-old construction worker at Bali's Udayana University reportedly panicked when the earthquake struck and jumped from an upper story of the under-construction Literature Faculty building. As a result of that fall, I Ketut Surdana, suffered massive head injuries and died before arriving at the local hospital's emergency room. In downtown Denpasar, another construction worker broke his ankle when he fell down a flight of stairs and a worker at a local garment company suffered facial cuts when he also fell down a set of stairs at his place of employment.
Bali's position near the convergence of a number of tectonic plates in the earth's surface destines the island to experience regular earthquakes, most of a minor amplitude and unnoticed by most local residents.
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