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Earthquake Today: Magnitude 6.5 Quake Strikes Off Indonesia’s Java Island

A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island on Saturday, according to the country’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG). The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the quake at a slightly lower magnitude of 6.1. The tremor was felt in the capital Jakarta, where people were forced to evacuate buildings, as well as in nearby Bandung.

Residents Describe Moments of Panic

Iman Krisnawan, a 47-year-old resident of Bandung, recounted the moments of panic during the earthquake. “I screamed to my wife and kids to tell them to get out of the house,” he told AFP. He noted that while earthquakes in the region usually last about 5 seconds, this one lasted between 10 to 15 seconds, heightening the sense of fear and urgency among residents.

Despite the intensity of the earthquake, BMKG stated that there was no tsunami alert issued for the area. The USGS reported that the quake’s depth was recorded at 68.3 kilometers (42 miles) below the Earth’s surface.

Indonesia’s Frequent Earthquake Activity

Indonesia, situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” experiences frequent seismic activity due to the collision of tectonic plates in the region. The “Ring of Fire” is an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

History of Devastating Earthquakes

The earthquake in Java serves as a reminder of Indonesia’s vulnerability to seismic events. In January 2021, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck Sulawesi island, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people and leaving thousands homeless. Similarly, in 2018, a magnitude-7.5 quake and subsequent tsunami in Palu, Sulawesi, claimed more than 2,200 lives. The most devastating earthquake in recent history occurred in 2004 when a magnitude-9.1 quake struck Aceh province, triggering a tsunami that killed over 170,000 people in Indonesia alone.

As Indonesia continues to grapple with the aftermath of earthquakes and tsunamis, the need for robust disaster preparedness and mitigation measures remains crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of its inhabitants.

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