JAKARTA (Dec 3): A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s main island of Java today, the United States Geological Survey said, shaking the same town devastated by another quake last month that left more than 330 people dead.
The quake struck on land at a depth of 112 kilometres (70 miles) and the epicentre was located 18 kilometres southeast of the West Java city of Banjar, according to the USGS.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.
The country’s meteorological agency, known as BKMG, gave a higher magnitude of 6.4 for the quake, which also shook buildings in capital Jakarta, according to an AFP journalist.
The agency said the tremor had caused buildings to shake in the West Java town of Garut and warned residents near the epicentre to beware of potential aftershocks.
But there was no threat of a tsunami, it said.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
Last month a shallow 5.6-magnitude tremor hit the town of Cianjur in West Java, killing 331 people, injuring thousands and leaving tens of thousands homeless after it collapsed buildings and triggered landslides.
Many were found buried under rubble in the days following the quake with only several successful rescues reported, including an operation to free a six-year-old boy which was described as a “miracle” by emergency workers.
Residents of the town were shaken again by today’s quake and it caused some roofs to be lightly damaged, local military official Haryanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told local broadcaster Kompas.
“It made us feel like we were swaying. We could see hanging lamps swaying,” he said.
A 6.2-magnitude quake that shook Sulawesi island in January last year killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless. – AFP