SINGAPORE: A strong earthquake struck off Indonesia’s islands of Sumatra and Java on Friday (Aug 2), triggering a tsunami warning.
According to Indonesia’s Meteorology and Climatology Agency BKMG, the 7.4 magnitude quake struck at a shallow depth of about 10km offshore, some 147km from Sumur, southwest of the capital Jakarta.
A tsunami warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Banten, West Java, Lampung and Bengkulu, the agency added.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency BNPB said on its Twitter feed that residents on the Banten coast should “immediately evacuate to higher ground”.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but strong tremors were felt in the capital Jakarta.
Residents fled their homes as buildings in the megacity swayed from the force of the quake.
“The chandelier in my apartment was shaking and I just ran from the 19th floor,” 50-year-old Elisa told AFP. “Everybody else ran too. It was a really strong jolt and I was very scared.”
“I was on the 18th floor when the building swayed. It was quite big and lasted for about a minute,” said Christabelle Adeline whose office is in central Jakarta.
“Fortunately the office was largely quiet because everyone has gone home. But for us who were working late it was horrifying. We hid underneath our desks and when the quake stopped the building sounded the alarm and we were all told to evacuate.”
A hotel guest in Jakarta who did not want to be named said she felt the tremors at about 7pm local time. “I ran out of the shower, pulled my dress on and ran down with my passport.”
At least two people were killed and thousands were forced from their homes after a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia this month.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 people, with another thousand declared missing.
On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 across the Indian Ocean region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.
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