One dead, several wounded after a powerful earthquake hit Indonesia


At least one person died and several were injured after a powerful earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Java, causing a brief warning about the tsunami, officials said Saturday.

The magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Friday evening drove the inhabitants to flee on higher ground, while many in the capital Jakarta ran through the streets.

Officials of the Indonesia National Disaster Agency warned that the quake could generate a tsunami up to three meters (10 feet) high, but was raised several hours later.

On Saturday, the authorities reported that a panic-stricken 48-year-old woman died of a heart attack while the strong earthquake shook the region.

Four more people were injured and more than 1,000 were evacuated to temporary shelters, officials said, including residents of the nearby island of Sumatra.

More than 100 buildings were damaged, with about 34 houses destroyed, added the agency.

"It was a thunderous noise – it looked like an airplane overhead – and I was so scared to run," said Isah, 69, who like many Indonesians bears a name, in an evacuation shelter in Pandeglang, in the south – end of Java.

In December, the area was hit by a tsunami caused by the volcano that killed over 400 people.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.

Last year, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on the island of Sulawesi killed over 2,200 people, with thousands more reported missing.

On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Sumatra coast and caused a tsunami that killed 220,000 people in the Indian Ocean region, including about 170,000 in Indonesia.


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