Strong quake hits Indonesia’s Java, at least two dead

16 Dec, 2017 12:39 pm

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A powerful magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the island of Java in Indonesia just before midnight on Friday, with authorities reporting two deaths and damage to scores of buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake was located at a depth of 92 km (57 miles), about 52 km southwest of Tasikmalaya.

Indonesia’s national disaster management agency said the quake activated early tsunami warning systems in the south of Java, prompting evacuations in some coastal areas, but no tsunami was detected.

Tremors were felt in central and west Java and a series of aftershocks stoked panic.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the disaster agency, said in a statement on Saturday two people had been killed, seven injured and more than 100 buildings damaged, including a hospital in Central Java.

About 70 patients had to be helped to safety from the Banyumas Hospital and were given shelter in tents, he said.

He posted on his Twitter page photos of people scouring collapsed buildings.

The quake swayed buildings for several seconds in the capital Jakarta.

Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency said a magnitude 5.7 quake early on Saturday also struck south of West Java. It said the quake did not have tsunami potential.

Java, Indonesia’s most densely populated island, is home to more than half of its 250 million people.

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