Two Dead, Buildings Damaged by Indonesia Earthquake

Vehicles are stuck in traffic as people try to reach higher ground amid fears of a tsunami, following an earthquake in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, late Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

Jakarta, MINA – At least two died and hundreds of buildings were damaged by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s southern Java island, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said on Saturday.

BNPB’s Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said two elderly people in the Ciamis District and Pekalongan City died when a wall collapsed on them from the earthquake.

“Seven people were injured and have been treated at a nearby hospital,” Anadolu Agency reported, quoting Nugroho in a statement.

He said preliminary data show that more than 100 houses and several public buildings were damaged.

“Some hospitals were damaged so patients were evacuated outside the building,” he said.

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At least 70 patients treated at Banyumas Hospital are now housed in emergency tents because some parts of the hospital buildings are damaged.

“Local Disaster Management Agency along with the community and SAR team are doing emergency handling of the impact of the earthquake,” he said.

Indonesia was rocked by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake late Friday with the epicenter 43 kilometers southwest of Tasikmalaya City, West Java, and a depth of 105 kilometers underwater. The first announcement was that the earthquake was at 7.3 magnitude, but that has been corrected to 6.9.

Officials issued a potential tsunami warning but revoked it early Saturday.

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“Most of the people who have been evacuated during the tsunami early warning have returned home,” Nugroho said.

He ensured that no tsunamis occurred along the southern coast of Java. Small magnitude aftershocks occurred seven times.

“There is no damaging impact from the aftershocks and the general public activity has returned to normal,” he said.

Indonesia lies within the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and cause frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coast of Sumatra, causing a tsunami that killed around 230,000 people as it tore along the coasts of Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. (T/RS5/RS1)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)