Major earthquake strikes off Bali; Australian brain damaged by toxic cocktail on Bali holiday


– Regional News selected by Phuket Gazette editors for Phuket readers

Strong earthquake strikes off Bali, Indonesia
Phuket Gazette

A strong earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Bali a few minutes ago, seismologists said, but no tsunami warnings were issued.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake at 11:16am local Bali time (10:16 Phuket time) was centered about 143 kilometers (88 miles) southwest of Nusa Dua, a major resort in the southeast of the island. It struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to Indonesia’s seismological agency (BMKG).

BMKG said there was no threat of a tsunami.

Related news

Bali holiday ends in brain damage from toxic cocktail
Phuket Gazette

An Australian nurse has fallen ill after drinking a toxic alcoholic beverage at an Indonesian resort island, local media reported on Wednesday. She is currently hospitalized after eventually suffering from brain damage and kidney failure.

Jamie Johnston, 25, of Newcastle in New South Wales, who was holidaying with her mother at Indonesia’s popular resort island of Bali, drank a popular local rice wine known as arak when she fell ill about three weeks ago, the Newcastle Herald reported.

The beverage was a mixture of arak and fruit juice and was consumed at the Happy Cafe restaurant on the neighboring island of Lombok.

However, after the severity of the incident, investigations were launched and test results revealed that the beverage contained methanol, which is commonly used as anti-freeze in paint. The traditional beverage of arak is made from fermented rice, palm sap, and other base ingredients.

Johnston, a nurse at the John Hunter Hospital, did not seek medical attention until she collapsed at the airport while waiting for her flight back home. Emergency teams transferred her to a local hospital in Bali and she was later flown back to Australia.

Johnston is currently at Darwin Hospital where she has been receiving treatment for brain damage and kidney failure, the report said.

New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the incident was a tragic reminder of the care tourists need to take when traveling overseas. The minister described the situation as ‘tragic,’ noting that Australians love traveling to Bali.

“It is horrific to think that simply by enjoying a few cocktails on a family holiday this young nurse is now facing a very grim future,” Skinner stated. “If you are visiting Bali, I urge you to take out medical insurance and seek help immediately from any one of the medical centers on Bali or Lombok if you start to feel ill.”

In 2009, a batch of arak contaminated with methanol killed at least 25 people in Bali.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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