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Indonesia’s strong quake causes massive damages, two injured

JAKARTA (XINHUA) – Over 900 houses and buildings were destroyed, and two people were wounded after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and its surrounding provinces on Friday, disaster agency officials said yesterday.

The main shock of revised 6.6 on the Richter scale hit at 4.05pm Jakarta time on Friday, with the epicentre at 52 kilometres southwest of Sumur sub-district of Pandeglang district, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

Most of the damages took place in Pandeglang district in Banten Province, followed by the province’s districts of Lebak and Serang, and West Java province’s districts of Bogor and Sukabumi, according to the officials.

In the capital city Jakarta, the tremors triggered panics and people were rushing outside from high buildings, mall shopping centres and houses, but there is no report of casualties.

According to the officials, as many as 922 houses and buildings were destroyed in all involved cities.

A damaged building after an earthquake in Pandeglang, Banten Province, Indonesia. PHOTO: XINHUA

In Pandeglang district, 745 houses and 35 buildings such as health clinics, schools, and places of worship were damaged, head of the operational unit of the provincial disaster management and mitigation agency Nana Suryana said. The official said only two residents suffered minor wounds as they had been well prepared for possible disasters.

“We have conducted drills, informal education and advisories for the people about the precautionary measures on quakes and other disasters. The moves have been carried out since September of last year. They are fruitful now as only two of our residents sustained minor injuries,” said Suryana.

The disaster triggered evacuation, but most of the evacuees, especially those with their houses seriously damaged, have taken shelters in their relatives’ houses, he said.

Risk assessment is still underway, Suryana said, citing that all the quake-impacted areas have been reached.

The National Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency advised that people in the quake-hit areas take precautionary measures as aftershocks struck several times with the highest magnitude of 5.7, the agency’s acting spokesman Abdul Muhari said.

“As a precaution measure, the residents are recommended to stay away from cracked buildings or damaged buildings after the quake,” he said in a text message.

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