Java quake kills at least three people and damages buildings

Map of magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck the island of Java in Indonesia

When the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) issued a tsunami warning late on Friday night, after an natural disaster registering 6.9 on the Richter scale struck southern Java, volunteers were monitoring the sea surface.

Tremors were felt in central and west Java and a series of aftershocks stoked panic.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the magnitude-6.5 quake was located at a depth of 57 miles (92km), about 32 miles south-west of Tasikmalaya.

A powerful magnitude 6.5 quake struck the island of Java in Indonesia just before midnight on Friday, with authorities reporting three deaths and damage to hundreds of buildings.

Residents felt the quake about 190 miles away in the capital of Jakarta, where people briefly evacuated to the ground floor of their high-rises.

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A hospital in Banyumas suffered damage to ceilings, cracked walls and leaks to oxygen pipelines, forcing around 70 patients to be moved to temporary shelters. It said the quake did not have tsunami potential.

In a statement, the Indonesian meteorological agency called on local authorities along the southern coast of Java to "stay alert" and "urge people to immediately evacuate".

Many people were seen running out of their houses in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas in fear of a tsunami.

Indonesia is positioned on the highly seismically active zone "Pacific Ring of Fire", which is known for collision of tectonic plates, and hence it experiences frequent earthquakes.

An natural disaster struck the country's western Aceh province in December 2016, killing more than 100 people, injuring many more and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

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