Earthquake shakes Indonesia’s Java island; at least 44 dead
At least 44 people have been killed in an earthquake that rattled Indonesia's main island Java on Monday, a local spokesperson told AFP.
"There have been dozens of people killed. Hundreds, even maybe thousands of houses are damaged. So far, 44 people have died," Adam, spokesman for the local administration in Cianjur town in West Java, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.6 quake was centered in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
The quake was felt strongly in the greater Jakarta area. High rises in the capital swayed and some were evacuated.
“The quake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to get out of our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.
Earthquakes occur frequently across the sprawling archipelago nation, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta.
The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.