At least seven people were killed after a 6.0 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s main Java island on Saturday, as the country reels from a cyclone disaster.
The afternoon quake hit offshore about 45 kilometres south-west of Malang city in East Java, damaging hundreds of homes as well as schools, government offices and mosques across the region.
“Our latest data shows that seven people died, two are seriously injured and 10 others sustained minor injuries,” said a disaster agency spokesman, Raditya Jati.
Several communities had been evacuated, he added.
The quake struck at a relatively deep 82 kilometres (50 miles) – shallower quakes tend to do more damage.
Images from the scene showed a ceiling caved in at a hospital ward and debris strewn across the floor of the local parliament in Blitar, a city south-west of Malang.
“I had just finished praying and was changing my clothes when suddenly the quake struck,” Malang resident Ida Magfiroh told AFP.
“It was pretty strong and went for a long time. Everything was swaying … My heart was racing.”
The deadly quake comes as the country reels from a cyclone that killed more than 200 people in the eastern part of the archipelago and neighbouring East Timor this week.
Indonesia experiences frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” of tectonic faultlines.
In 2004 an earthquake measuring 9.1 magnitude struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people throughout the region including about 170,000 in Indonesia. The Boxing Day disaster was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.
In 2018 a powerful quake shook the island of Lombok and several more followed over the next couple of weeks, killing more than 550 people on the holiday island and neighbouring Sumbawa. Later that year a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.
In 2006 a 6.3-magnitude quake rocked a densely populated region of Java near the city of Yogyakarta, killing about 6,000 people and injuring tens of thousands more.
A year earlier a quake measuring 8.7 magnitude struck off the coast of Sumatra, which is particularly prone to quakes, killing 900 people and injuring about 6,000.