6.6-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia

JAKARTA (AFP) – A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island early yesterday but without causing any major damage, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and local authorities said.

The strong offshore quake struck at a depth of more than 500 kilometres around sunrise.

The epicentre was about 100 kilometres off the city of Batang in Central Java province, according to the USGS.

“There’s no tsunami potential and, so far, no reports of any damage,” Rahmat Triyono, spokesman for Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency told AFP.

Deep quakes tend to cause less shaking than shallower ones, which have far more potential for destruction.

According to residents, the tremor was felt in the south of Java island around Yogyakarta, the country’s cultural capital.

“Yes, I felt the tremor but it wasn’t very strong. However, a bird cage in my house fell off,” said Esti Nuryani, a resident of nearby Klaten. He said the tremor felt like it could have come from the nearby Merapi volcano. But “I cycled this morning and Merapi looked calm”.