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Magnitude-6.4 quake hits off Indonesia’s Java Island — USGS

By AFP - Mar 23,2024 - Last updated at Mar 23,2024

JAKARTA — A magnitude-6.4 offshore earthquake hit near Indonesia’s Java island on Friday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, with the tremor felt in the capital Jakarta and forcing residents of another city to flee their homes.

The quake had a depth of approximately eight kilometres, and struck off Java island’s northern coast near Bawean island at about 3:52 pm local time (08:52 GMT), the USGS said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, and no tsunami warning was issued by local authorities.

The quake was felt more strongly in East Java Province, including in the city of Surabaya and the coastal town of Tuban.

“I was at home when the earthquake struck. The jolt made us unsteady. The water in the sewer [outside] was swaying,” said Yulianus Andre, an AFP journalist in the city.

“My family and I rushed out of home and our neighbours did too. The jolt lasted more than a minute when we were outside.”

Muhammad Nurkholis, a resident of Tuban, said the tremor lasted around a minute.

“Initially I did not feel it, but when I saw water in the aquarium swaying, I started to realise that the ground was swaying,” he said.

Two buildings were damaged in Tuban, according to local authorities.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation, experiences frequent earthquakes due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity where tectonic plates collide that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

A magnitude-6.2 quake that shook Sulawesi Island in January 2021 killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless.

In 2018, a magnitude-7.5 quake and subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi killed more than 2,200 people.

And in 2004, a magnitude-9.1 quake struck Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia.

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