Deadly earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Java, no tsunami warning

A 6.0 magnitude quake hits off Java, killing at least seven people in the second disaster to strike the nation this week.

A house destroyed by an earthquake in Malang, East Java province [Antara Foto via Reuters]

A strong earthquake killed at least seven people and damaged buildings on Indonesia’s main island of Java and shook the tourist hotspot of Bali without prompting tsunami warnings.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.0 quake struck on Saturday off the island’s southern coast at 2pm local time (07:00 GMT).

It was centred 45km (28 miles) south of Sumberpucung town of Malang District in East Java province, at a depth of 82km (51 miles).

“Our latest data shows that seven people died, two are seriously injured and 10 others sustained minor injuries,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Raditya Jati.

Rahmat Triyono, the head of Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami centre, said in a statement the undersea earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.

Still, he urged people to stay away from slopes of soil or rocks that have the potential for landslides.

A man cleans up a damaged courtroom in Blitar, East Java [Antara Foto/Irfan Anshori via Reuters]

Falling rocks killed a woman on a motorcycle and badly injured her husband in East Java’s Lumajang district, said Jati.

He said dozens of homes were damaged across the district, and rescuers had retrieved two bodies from the rubble of collapsed homes in the district’s Kali Uling village.

Two people were also confirmed killed in an area bordering Lumajang and Malang districts, while one person was found dead under rubble in Malang.

“I had just finished praying and was changing my clothes when suddenly the quake struck,” Malang resident Ida Magfiroh told the AFP news agency.

“It was pretty strong and went for a long time. Everything was swaying … My heart was racing.”

Television reports showed people running in panic from malls and buildings in several cities in East Java province.

Damage to a ward is seen at the Ngudi Waluyo hospital in Blitar, East Java [AVIAN/AFP]

Indonesia’s search and rescue agency released videos and photos of damaged houses and buildings, including a ceiling at a hospital in Blitar, a city neighbouring Malang.

Authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas.

It was the second deadly disaster to hit Indonesia this week. On Sunday, a downpour triggered by Tropical Cyclone Seroja killed at least 165 people and damaged thousands of houses.

Some were buried in either mudslides or solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November, while others were swept away by flash flooding.

‘Ring of Fire’

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In January, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500, while more than 92,000 displaced, after striking Mamuju and Majene districts in West Sulawesi province.

In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.

Source: News Agencies