MALANG, Indonesia – A severe earthquake killed at least six people and damaged buildings on Indonesia’s main island Java on Saturday and shook the tourist hot spot of Bali, officials said.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.0 magnitude quake struck the island’s south coast at 2 p.m. local time. It was centered in the waters south of the Malang district in the province of East Java and was 51 miles deep.
Falling rocks killed a woman on a motorcycle and seriously injured her husband in Lumajang district in east Java, said Raditya Jati, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
He said dozens of houses were damaged in the district and rescuers recovered two bodies from the rubble of collapsed houses in the village of Kali Uling, in the district. It was also confirmed that two people were killed in an area bordering Lumajang and Malang districts, and one person was found dead under the rubble in Malang.
TV reports showed people running in panic from shopping malls and apartment buildings in several towns in East Java province.
The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency released videos and photos of damaged houses and buildings, including the ceiling of a hospital in Blitar, a town near Malang. Authorities continued to collect information on the extent of loss and damage in the affected areas.
The earthquake was the second deadly disaster to hit Indonesia last week. Last Sunday, a downpour resulting from tropical cyclone Seroja killed at least 165 people and damaged thousands of homes. Some were buried in landslides or solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November, while others were washed away by flash floods.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and faults in the Pacific basin.
In January, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500, while more than 92,000 were displaced, after hitting the districts of Mamuju and Majene in the province of West Sulawesi.