Quake hits Indonesian island of Java

Frederick Owens
December 16, 2017

A strong natural disaster has struck the Indonesian capital and other cities on the country's most populous island, Java, killing an unknown number of people.

There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 km from the capital.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the national disaster management agency, said at least one person had been killed, several homes damaged and a hospital evacuated.

Indonesia is no stranger to earthquakes of varying intensities, with the last major quake in 2004 recorded at a magnitude of 9.3, causing a massive tsunami and killing thousands.

The 6.5-magnitude quake was centered in Cipatujah, in the western part of Java, the U.S. Geological Survey said, at a depth of about 57 miles.

A traffic jam of scooters packs a road as the headlights shine in the darkness

Strong tremors were felt for about 20 seconds in the capital Jakarta and in other cities and towns, Nugroho said.

Residents felt the quake about 190 miles away in the capital of Jakarta, where people briefly evacuated to the ground floor of their high-rises. "We then realized it was a quake and immediately ran downstairs", the 50-year-old told AFP.

There are no reports of damage or injury from Thursday's quakes.

Indonesia is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently occur.

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