Image: A man pushes his motorbike away in the fallen debris of a building damaged by an earthquake in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.
Firdia Lisnawati  /  AP
A man pushes his motorbike away from fallen debris after an earthquake in Kuta, Bali, on Thursday.
msnbc.com news services
updated 10/13/2011 2:54:00 PM ET 2011-10-13T18:54:00

An earthquake jolted Indonesia's popular resort island of Bali on Thursday, causing widespread panic and injuring at least 50 people, many with broken bones and head injuries.

Witnesses told local radio and television stations the roofs of some homes collapsed. Ceilings caved in at two high schools and several ancient Hindu temples were damaged. Some cars in the bustling capital were crushed by falling slabs of concrete.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.1-magnitude quake was centered 60 miles southwest of the island. It hit 36 miles beneath the ocean floor.

Although not strong enough to trigger a tsunami, the quake was felt on neighboring Java and Lombok islands, hundreds of miles away.

"It knocked me off my motorcycle," said one badly shaken Bali resident, Miftahul Chusna.

Candy Juliani, a public relations officer for the Sanur Beach Hotel, said terrified guests fled the building.

"We have special emergency routes for this type of situation, but everyone was so scared, they just ignored them," Juliani said.

At least 50 people were hurt, many with cuts, broken bones and head injuries, said Wayan Sudanti, a hospital spokesman.

Three were in critical condition.

Caroline Mercier, a 40-year-old tourist in the island's cultural center of Ubud, said she was used to feeling quakes in California, but never like this one.

"It started at my feet and went all though my heart and head — it made me nauseous. My first reaction was to get out of the house. I was very confused when the roof started shaking," she told Reuters.

Novotel Bali Benoa, one of many resorts in the luxury southern beach area of Nusa Dua, evacuated its guests as the hotel shook for a minute.

"The funny thing is that the foreign guests who were sitting in the lobby did not feel the shaking. They started running when hearing people say 'there's an earthquake' while running down the lobby," hotel worker Ariyanti told Reuters.

Endro Tjahjono, head of information at Bali's meteorology agency, said there was no tsunami potential. Cracks appeared in the walls and glass lobby windows of his office in the southern town of Kuta, and some top floor ceilings fell, he said.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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