A Muh Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Hundreds of buildings, including houses, places of worships and community health centers (Puskesmas), were damaged in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the western parts of Java Island on Friday.
The earthquake's epicenter was in the Indian Ocean, near the Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten, at a depth of 40 kilometers and struck at 4.05 p.m. local time, according to the Meteorological Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
It was followed by five aftershocks, the strongest of which was recorded at 5.7 magnitudes at 4.49 p.m. The BMKG did not issue a tsunami warning.
Pandeglang Regency in Banten, located the closest to the quake's epicenter, sustained damages. According data compiled by the regency on Saturday, at least 1,100 houses, 13 schools, 14 health facilities, three government office buildings, and four house of worships were damaged following the earthquake.
In Serang Regency, 16 houses sustained moderate damages, while 36 houses in Lebak Regency were also damaged. At least nine houses in Sukabumi Regency in West Java and eight houses in Bogor Regency, also in West Java, sustained damages.
The earthquake was felt in Jakarta and its surrounding cities and regencies, such as Bogor and Depok in West Java. The aftershocks reached West Lampung Regency, Lampung.
In Jakarta, people were seen pouring out of office towers onto Jl. Sudirman during the tremors.
BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said Friday's quake was shallow, considering the depth of its epicenter. She added that it had been a tectonic earthquake, unlike the earthquake and tsunami in December 2018, which was caused by Anak Krakatau's eruption in the Sunda straits.
She said people in the earthquake-affected areas should remain calm, try not to be influenced by rumors regarding the quake, and get their information from the BMKG's verified channels.
She added that they should avoid buildings damaged by the earthquake and make sure that their homes or offices were not damaged before reentering them.
"We should also prepare our homes if an earthquake strikes by preparing unobstructed evacuation routes or strong indoor shelter such as sturdy wooden desks on the second floor [and up]," Dwikorita said.
She said evacuation points outdoors should be in an open area far from structures that could fall or collapse.