Indonesia: Java Hit By Magnitude 5.9 Quake, Seven Killed

Indonesia: Java hit by magnitude 5.9 quake, seven killed
A man gestures towards a search and rescue team while looking for victims in the earthquake and liqu...

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit the island of Java, Indonesia, on Saturday, killing seven people, injuring two people, and damaging hundreds of buildings in several cities, said the country’s disaster management authority BNPB.

An earthquake struck at 2 pm local time, felt in East Java, home to 40.7 million people, and the nearest province, including the Balinese resort island, Indonesian media reported. Ten were injured slightly, while an unspecified number of people in several villages were transferred to evacuated centers because some houses were destroyed, BNPB said.

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More than 300 homes and dozens of other buildings, including schools, hospitals, government offices, and places of worship, were damaged, the agency said. The numbers can change when the authority collects more information about the level of destruction and damage.

Images in the media showed flat houses in cities near the south coast of East Java, the nearest earthquake center area. The large gorilla sculpture in the amusement park in Batu City lost his head, detik.com news site reported.

The earthquake struck the Indian Ocean 91 km (57 miles) off the southern coast of East Java. It had a magnitude of 5.9 at a depth of 96 km, according to the European-Mediterranean seismological center, which reduces the magnitude of the earthquake from an initial 6.8.

The video circulating on social media users shows people running out of malls in Malang city in the middle of a strong tremor. “I felt a quake twice for two seconds for the first time and then stopped, but then shook again for five seconds,” Edo Afzal, a receptionist at a hotel in Blitar, told Reuters by telephone.

Indonesia was hit last week by the Seroja, a tropical cyclone, which triggered landslides and floods, killing more than 170 people on the islands in East Nusa Tenggara province. Straddling the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by an earthquake. The 6.2 big earthquakes that hit the island of Sulawesi in January killed more than 100 people.

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