A massive earthquake struck areas of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Friday, destroying buildings and driving people onto the streets, although no one was injured. There was no threat of a tsunami, according to officials.
The 6.6-magnitude quake struck in the Indian Ocean about 88 kilometers (54 miles) southwest of Labuan, a coastal town in Banten province, according to the US Geological Survey. It was located at a depth of 37 kilometers (23 miles), according to the report.
The head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said there was no immediate threat of a tsunami, but warned of possible aftershocks.
High-rise buildings in Jakarta, the capital, trembled for more than 10 seconds, prompting evacuations and a rush of people into the streets. In the satellite cities of Tangerang, Bogor, and Bekasi, even two-story residences shook violently.
Earthquakes occur frequently throughout the vast archipelago nation, yet they are rarely felt in Jakarta.
“Everything in my room was swinging,” said Laila Anjasari, a Jakarta resident who lives on the 19th level of an apartment building. “In a hurry, we raced out and down the stairs.”
According to National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari, at least 257 residences and buildings were damaged, the majority of which were in Pandeglang, the closest district to the epicenter. There was additional minor damage recorded elsewhere, but no injuries were reported.
Due to its placement on significant geological faults known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” Indonesia is vulnerable to earthquakes.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck West Sulawesi province in January of last year, killing at least 105 people and injuring almost 6,500.
In 2004, a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami that killed over 230,000 people in a dozen nations, the majority of whom were in Indonesia’s Aceh province.