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The country of more than 270 million people is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire.”
A deadly earthquake rocked Indonesia’s main island of Java, damaging dozens of buildings and sending residents onto the streets of the capital for safety.
The US Geological Survey said Monday’s magnitude 5.6 quake was centered in the Cianjur region of West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
It killed at least 14 people and injured many others, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities.
Herman Suherman, a Cianjur government official, told the MetroTV news channel that some 20 people were killed and another 300 injured.
“This is from a hospital, there are four hospitals in Cianjur,” he said, adding that the number of deaths and injuries is likely to rise.
The quake was strongly felt in the Jakarta metropolitan area. The tall buildings of the capital tottered and some were evacuated.
“The earthquake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to leave our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.
Muchlis, who was in Cianjur when the quake struck, said he felt “a big tremor” and the walls and ceiling of his office building were damaged.
“I was very shocked. I was worried that there would be another earthquake,” Muchlis told Metro TV news channel, adding that people ran from their homes, some fainting and vomiting from the strong tremors.
Dwikorita Karnawati, director of the BMKG meteorological and geophysical agency, advised people to stay outdoors in case of aftershocks.
Earthquakes occur frequently in the sprawling archipelago nation, but it’s rare for them to be felt in Jakarta.
The country of more than 270 million people is frequently 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, the majority in Indonesia.