Indonesian island of Java hit by earthquake of at least 5.7 magnitude

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has hit Indonesia’s main island of Java, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, shaking the same town devastated by another quake last month that left more than 330 people dead.

The quake struck on land at a depth of 112km (70 miles) and the epicentre was located 18km south-east of city of Banjar, according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The country’s meteorological agency gave a higher magnitude of 6.4 for the quake, which also shook buildings in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, according to an Agence France-Presse journalist.

The agency said the tremor had caused buildings to shake in the town of Garut, in West Java province, and warned residents near the epicentre to beware of potential aftershocks. However, it said there was no threat of a tsunami.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity because of its position on the Pacific “ring of fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

Last month a shallow 5.6-magnitude tremor hit the town of Cianjur in West Java, killing 331 people, injuring thousands and leaving tens of thousands homeless after it collapsed buildings and triggered landslides.

Many were found buried under rubble in the days after the quake, with only several successful rescues reported, including an operation to free a six-year-old boy that emergency workers described as a “miracle”.

Residents of the town were shaken again by Saturday’s quake and it caused some roofs to be lightly damaged, a military official told local broadcaster Kompas.

“It made us feel like we were swaying. We could see hanging lamps swaying,” he said.

A 6.2-magnitude quake that shook Sulawesi island in January last year killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless.

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