A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Java, killing at least seven people in the second disaster to hit the country this week.
A severe earthquake killed at least seven people and damaged buildings on the main island of Java, Indonesia, and rocked the tourist hotspot of Bali without raising a tsunami alert.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the island’s south coast on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. GMT).
It was centered 45 km (28 miles) south of the town of Sumberpucung in the district of Malang in the province of East Java, at a depth of 82 km (51 miles).
“Our latest data shows that seven people have died, two are seriously injured and 10 others have suffered minor injuries,” said spokeswoman for the National Disaster Reduction Agency Raditya Jati.
Rahmat Triyono, head of Indonesia’s Earthquake and Tsunami Center, said in a statement that the underwater earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.
Still, he urged people to stay away from slopes of soil or rocks that could cause landslides.
Falling rocks killed a woman on a motorcycle and seriously injured her husband in Lumajang district, east Java, Jati said.
He said dozens of houses were damaged in the district and rescuers recovered two bodies from the rubble of collapsed houses in the village of Kali Uling, in the district.
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 earthquake struck,” Ida Magfiroh, a resident of Malang, told AFP news agency.
“It was strong enough and it lasted a long time. Everything was oscillating… My heart was pounding.
TV reports showed people running in panic from shopping malls and buildings in several towns in East Java province.
The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency released videos and photos of damaged houses and buildings, including the ceiling of a hospital in Blitar, a town near Malang.
Authorities continued to collect information on the extent of loss and damage in the affected areas.
It was the second fatal disaster to hit Indonesia this week. Sunday, a downpour triggered by Tropical Cyclone Seroja killed at least 165 people and damaged thousands of homes.
Some were buried in landslides or solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November, while others were washed away by flash floods.
‘Ring of Fire’
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and faults 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 hitting the districts of Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi province.
In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Palu on the island of Sulawesi left more than 4,300 dead or missing.
On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra and triggered a tsunami which killed 220,000 people across the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.
It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.