4 dead after quake hits off Indonesia’s Java island

A strong earthquake that hit off Java island killed four people and damaged more than 200 houses, swaying buildings as far away as Indonesia’s capital, officials said Saturday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday night’s magnitude 6.9 quake was centred 151 kilometres from Banten province off Java’s southwest coast.

Agus Wibowo, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesman, said four people died while fleeing in panic to safety in Banten and West Java. Four others were injured.

Wibowo said 223 houses were damaged, mostly in Banten’s Pandeglang region, where a deadly tsunami struck in the dark without warning last December.

Hundreds of people who had fled to temporary shelters returned home, Wibowo said.

Villagers inspect a damaged house in Pandeglang, Banten province on Friday. (Ronald Siagian/AFP/Getty Images)

The quake was felt in Jakarta, the capital, where buildings swayed for nearly a minute. Television footage showed workers and residents running out of high-rise buildings in the city.

Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

This home was also damaged in Pandeglang. (Antara Foto/Asep Fathulrahman via Reuters)

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