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The country of more than 270 million inhabitants is regularly hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”.
A deadly earthquake shook Indonesia’s main island, Java, damaging dozens of buildings and residents taking to the streets of the capital for safety.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.6 quake struck Monday in the Cianjur region of West Java province at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi).
Information is still being collected on the extent of casualties and damage, it said in a statement.
At least two people were killed and four others injured, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities.
Herman Suherman, a government official from Cianjur, told MetroTV that as many as 20 people were killed and 300 injured.
“This is from one hospital, there are four hospitals in Cianjur,” he said, adding that it is possible that the number of deaths and injuries could rise.
The earthquake was strongly felt in the Jakarta area. High-rise buildings in the capital swayed and some were evacuated.
“The earthquake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to leave our office on the ninth floor via the emergency stairs,” says Vidi Primadhania, a staff member in South Jakarta.
Muchlis, who was in Cianjur when the quake hit, said he felt “a huge tremor” and that the walls and ceiling of his office building were damaged.
“I was very shocked. I was afraid there was going to be another earthquake,” Muchlis told the Metro TV news channel, adding that people ran out of their homes, some fainting and vomiting because of the strong tremors.
Addressing reporters inside the parliament building, the head of the weather and geophysics bureau BMKG Dwikorita Karnawati advised people to stay outside in case of aftershocks.
Earthquakes are common in the vast archipelago, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta.
The country of more than 270 million people is regularly hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to 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 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.