Jakarta, Indonesia: A powerful earthquake hit parts of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Friday, damaging buildings and homes and sending people out into the streets, but no casualties were reported. Officials said there was no tsunami threat.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.6-magnitude quake was located about 88 kilometers (54 mi) southwest of Labuan, a coastal city in Banten province in the Indian Ocean. It was centered at a depth of 37 kilometers (23 mi).
Dwikorita Karnavati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysical Agency, said there was no tsunami threat, but warned of possible aftershocks.
Skyscrapers in the capital Jakarta were swept away for more than 10 seconds and some ordered people to take to the streets. Even two-storey houses in the satellite cities of Tangerang, Bogor and Bekasi shook vigorously.
Earthquakes occur frequently in the vast archipelago nation, but they are unusual in Jakarta.
Laila Anjasari, a Jakarta resident who lives on the 19th floor of an apartment building, said, “The shivering was terrible…everything was shaking in my room.”
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Abdul Muhri said at least 257 houses and buildings were damaged, most of them in Pandeglang, the district closest to the quake. There was minor damage elsewhere as well, but no casualties were reported.
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on major geological faults known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.
In January last year, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck West Sulawesi province, killing at least 105 people and injuring about 6,500.
In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean earthquake triggered a tsunami, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
6.6-magnitude earthquake off the west coast of Cyprus: USGS.