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The country of more than 270 million people is often affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”.
A deadly earthquake struck Indonesia’s main island of Java, destroying dozens of homes and sending people scrambling for safety in the country’s capital.
The US Geological Survey said Monday’s magnitude 5.6 earthquake was centered in the Cianjur region of West Java at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).
It killed at least two people and injured four others, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said. Many buildings were destroyed, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other government facilities.
Herman Suherman, a civil servant in Cianjur, told MetroTV that about 20 people had been killed and 300 injured.
“This is from one hospital, there are four hospitals in Cianjur,” he said, adding that the death toll and injuries are likely to rise.
The earthquake was felt in the greater Jakarta area. A large increase in the capital caused disruption and some were displaced.
“The earthquake was very strong. My colleagues and I decided to leave our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, a worker in south Jakarta.
Muchlis, who was in Cianjur when the earthquake occurred, said he felt a “big earthquake” and the walls and roof of his office were damaged.
“I was very surprised. I was worried there would be another earthquake,” Muchlis told Metro TV, adding that people fled their homes, with some fainting and vomiting from the strong tremors.
Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency BMKG, advised people to stay outside in the event of an earthquake.
Earthquakes occur frequently in the larger archipelago, but it is not unusual for them to be felt in Jakarta.
The country of more than 270 million people is often affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire,” a series of mountain slopes 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 about 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killed an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.