Moderate quake hits East Java
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia's densely-populated area, sparking panic and causing damage to scores of houses, but no serious casualties.world Updated: Sep 10, 2007 08:25 IST
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's densely-populated East Java on Monday, sparking panic and causing damage to scores of houses, but no serious casualties, officials and police said.
The quake hit at 1:36 am (1836 GMT on Sunday) and was centered about 100 kilometres (62 miles) underground, 43 kilometres southeast of the town of Situbondo, the meteorology office said.
A 4.5-magnitude aftershock hit five hours later, 10 kilometres beneath the earth and just 28 kilometres southeast of the town.
"The first quake was felt much more strongly and people ran out of their homes and buildings in panic," said policeman Yayok, from Asembagus, an area in Situbondo district which appeared to be the hardest hit.
"The second quake has further scared people and until now many do not want to go back into their homes," he told AFP.
Yayok said no reports of serious injuries were received so far.
"Some 40 houses suffered light damage, such as cracks, damaged windows or roofs, while about 50 others suffered from more serious damage," he said.
At least two schools had sent pupils home after cracks developed in their buildings amid concern of further aftershocks.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
The archipelago was worst hit by the earthquake-triggered Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 which killed some 168,000 people in Aceh province.