Three killed as strong quake rocks Indonesia's Java, Bali

Soldiers and rescue workers carry the remains of recovered victims in Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu

Soldiers and rescue workers carry the remains of recovered victims in Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu

An official search and rescue effort following the devastating natural disaster and tsunami in Indonesia has been called off.

The magnitude 6.0 natural disaster occurred at a depth of 9 km, and a tsunami warning has not been issued.

A magnitude 7.0 natural disaster has struck remote New Britain island in Papua New Guinea, the United States Geological Survey says.

Indonesia's disaster agency said the nighttime quake was centered at sea, 34 miles northeast of Situbondo city, and also felt in Lombok. The US Geological Survey website stated the quake had a 6.0 magnitude.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster agency BNPB, wrote on Twitter that several houses were also damaged in the quake that shook Bali and East Java.

The country is still reeling from an quake and tsunami last month that killed more than 2,000 people.

"In other areas the natural disaster was felt to be moderate".

A recent update from a command center for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Badung regency, revealed that there were 11 aftershocks measuring between 2.5 and 3.5 magnitude.

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Some tourists and residents on Bali went outdoors as a precaution but then back to sleep when there was no tsunami warning.

The magnitude 7.5 quake and a subsequent tsunami razed swathes of the city of Palu on Sulawesi island on September 28.

The state disaster mitigation agency said the search was being stepped up and focused more intensely on areas where many people are believed to be buried.

Those zones were all but destroyed by liquefaction, a phenomenon where the brute force of a quake turns soil to quicksand. Stretches of the coastline were trashed by the tsunami that Nugroho said had waves up to 11 meters (36 feet) high.

Nugroho reiterated that the official search for bodies will end Thursday with prayers in hard-hit neighbourhoods.

"We're not sure what will happen afterwards, so we're trying to work as fast as possible", said rescue worker Ahmad Amin, 29, referring to the deadline, as he took a break in the badly hit Balaroa neighborhood.

"Are they going to ask our permission before they convert this into a mass graveyard?", he added.

A massive relief effort is underway in Indonesia with British Red Cross, Action Aid DEC Indonesian Tsunami Appeal and Save the Children among the charities and non-for-profit organisations appealing the public to help raise money for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster. Nugroho said there's no need for global aid other than the four priorities identified by Indonesia - tents, water treatment units, generators and transport. No one knows how many people have yet to be found in the worst-hit coastal city of Palu, but it could be as many as 5,000, the disaster agency says.

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