6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia’s Java island

December 16, 2017 7:45 am
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Residents gather outside their apartment blocks in Jakarta following a strong magnitude-6.5 earthquake © AFP / DESSY SAGITA

, Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec 15 – A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta.

There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital.

National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

At least five other people were reported injured across the island as authorities continued to assess the damage from the quake, which hit just before midnight local time (1700 GMT).

The 6.5-magnitude tremor was measured at a depth of 91 kilometres (56 miles) and struck less than a kilometre (mile) east-southeast of the coastal town of Cipatujah, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake was felt across the island.

Jakarta resident Web Warouw was on the 18th floor of a building in the capital when the quake struck.

“Suddenly, we felt dizzy, but constantly… We then realized it was a quake and immediately ran downstairs,” the 50-year-old told AFP.

People in the coastal city of Cilacap evacuated as a precaution fearing a tsunami.

Homes were also reported damaged in the city of Tasikmalaya, some 50 kilometres from the epicentre.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

An earthquake struck the country’s western Aceh province in December 2016, killing more than 100 people, injuring many more and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

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