The main island of Indonesia, Java, was shaken again on Saturday by a magnitude 6 earthquake, killing at least seven people in the region of Malang (east), according to the latest report announced by the authorities. The epicenter of the earthquake, which took place in the afternoon, was detected 45 kilometers from Malang, a metropolitan area of nearly three million people.
The earthquake, recorded at a depth of 82 km, caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes as well as many public buildings. “According to the latest information, seven people have died, two have been seriously injured and ten others have less serious injuries,” detailed the spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency, Raditya Jati. Several villages in the area were also evacuated, he added.
Images released showed a collapsed ceiling in a hospital as well as debris on the floor of the local parliament in Blitar, southwest of Malang. “I had just finished my prayer and was changing my clothes when suddenly everything started to shake”, told AFP one of its residents, Ida Magfiroh, “it was quite strong and lasted rather a long time. Everything swayed ”.
Hurricane during the week
This new natural disaster comes as the country heals its wounds after a violent hurricane that hit the eastern part of the archipelago in the week, killing more than 200 people. Indonesia regularly faces earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
In 2018, Lombok Island and neighboring Sumbawa Island were hit by a severe earthquake, killing more than 550 people. The same year, another 7.5 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami that struck Palu, on the island of Sulawesi, killing or missing 4,300 people.
The island of Java was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in 2006, near the city of Yogyakarta (center), causing around 6,000 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. A year earlier, a magnitude 8.7 earthquake hitting the regularly affected coast of Sumatra killed more than 900 people, leaving 6,000 injured.
But the country remains marked by the earthquake of December 26, 2004 with a magnitude of 9.1 off the coast of Sumatra, causing a major tsunami that had resulted in the death of 220,000 people throughout the region, for about 170,000 for the only Indonesia. It is one of the deadliest natural disasters on record.