Earthquake rattles Indonesia’s Java island, 2 dead

By on December 15, 2017


Panicking people ran out of buildings in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas. (Pixabay photo)
Panicking people ran out of buildings in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas. (Pixabay photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong earthquake shook Indonesia’s densely populated Java island on Friday night, killing two people and severely damaging dozens of homes near the epicenter.

The quake struck at 11:47 p.m. and was felt across the island, including about 200 kilometres (124 miles) away in the capital Jakarta, where office towers and apartment buildings swayed. Powerful tremors lasted as much as 30 seconds in places.

Panicking people ran out of buildings in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas.

A 62-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman were killed in building collapses, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Damage was heaviest in the Tasikmalaya, Pangandaran and Ciamis regions of West Java Province near the epicenter.

More than 40 houses collapsed and about 65 suffered severe damage, said Nugroho.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5 and was about 91 kilometres (56 miles) deep and located just inland, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It triggered a tsunami warning for parts of Java’s coastline that was lifted about two hours later.

Several hospitals were damaged by the shaking and patients evacuated.

Indonesia sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.