Lurgan man on honeymoon tells of Indonesia earthquake terror

A Northern Ireland man on honeymoon in Indonesia has told how fear struck when the hotel in which he and his wife were staying was rocked by Sunday night's earthquake.

Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 4:35 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:22 pm
Adam Firmin and his wife Gemma who are on their honeymoon in Bali

Adam Firmin, who is originally from Lurgan, remains in Bali with his English bride Gemma where the mood is one of concern, particularly for the neighbouring island of Lombok where nearly 100 people have lost their lives and thousands have lost their homes.

Although the 7.0 magnitude earthquake did not have as devastating an impact in Bali, dozens of aftershocks continued to hit the region after the main quake.

Mr Firmin, 35, said: “We are staying on the south coast of Bali and on the top floor of our hotel, so being higher up, we probably felt it more.

Some of the devastation caused in Lombok by Sundays earthquake

“We were just getting ready to head out for a meal on Sunday night but then had to quickly evacuate the hotel.

“It was a bit scary at the time – with furniture, mirrors shaking.

“It quickly settled and at this point the hotel staff asked us all to evacuate the building.

“We were stood outside for 15 minutes while they checked for any damage and then all good to go back in.

“There was a few aftershocks since then but apparently that’s quite normal. We’re just glad there is no tsunami warnings.”

Mr Firmin, who works as a teacher, is now living in Darlington having grown up in Lurgan.

His wife Gemma, 37, is originally from Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

The well-travelled newlyweds, who tied the knot in January, flew to Bali on July 25 for their honeymoon.

Mr Firmin described it as an “island paradise” though he was aware of the possibility of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Following Sunday’s events he said: “The mood here is fairly calm although obviously there is a lot of concern for what’s happened.

“It feels like they are used to the whole earthquake thing – you can tell from the info they have in the hotel referring to earthquake and tsunami threats.”

Roughly 70 kilometres of water separates the island of Bali from that of Lombok.

In Lombok, British tourist James Kelsall described Sunday night’s panic to the Press Association: “There were lots of injuries and pain on the island from buildings that had collapsed on to people.

“The most terrifying part was the tsunami warning that followed. All the locals were frantically running and screaming, putting on lifejackets. We followed them up to higher ground, which was a steep, uneven climb to the top of a hill in darkness.”