MALANG: A woman surveys a part of her house damaged by an earthquake in East Java on Saturday.—AP
MALANG: A woman surveys a part of her house damaged by an earthquake in East Java on Saturday.—AP

JAKARTA: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake off Indonesia’s Java island on Saturday killed one person and damaged buildings in several cities, media reports said.

The quake was felt in cities and towns across East Java, home to 40.7 million people, and nearby provinces, including the resort island of Bali, Indonesian media reported.

One person died in Lumajang after being hit by a falling boulder, news website Detik.com said, citing a town disaster official.

There had been aftershocks but there was no risk of tsunami, Indonesian geophysics agency BMKG said.

Reports of damage included parliamentary buildings, a school, a hospital and houses in several cities, while a large gorilla statue in an amusement park in the town of Batu lost its head.

The national disaster agency said authorities were still taking stock of the damage.

The quake struck in the Indian Ocean 91km off the southern coast of East Java. It had a magnitude of 5.9 at a depth of 96 km, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said, after initially saying the magnitude was 6.8.

Video shared by social media users showed people running out of a shopping mall in Malang city amid the strong tremor.

“I felt the earthquake twice, the first time for two seconds and then it stopped, but then it shook again for five seconds,” Edo Afizal, a receptionist at a hotel in Blitar, told Reuters by phone.

Indonesia was struck last week by tropical cyclone Seroja, which triggered landslides and flash floods killing more than 160 people on islands in East Nusa Tenggara province.

Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. A magnitude 6.2 quake that struck Sulawesi island in January killed more than 100 people.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2021

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