JAKARTA: At least three people were killed as a shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Java and Bali islands on Thursday (Oct 11), a government official said.
The victims in East Java’s Sumenep district perished after being crushed by collapsed buildings, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
“The earthquake happened early Thursday when they were sleeping and the quake suddenly rocked so they didn’t have time to evacuate,” he said, adding that damage caused by the tremor was not widespread.
“The quake didn’t trigger any tsunami for sure,” Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s geophysics agency, told AFP.
The quake’s epicentre was in the Bali Sea around 40km off the eastern end of Java island, according to the USGS, and was felt in Denpasar on the holiday island of Bali.
The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, according to USGS data. Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage.
Meanwhile, a 7.0-magnitude quake struck off Papua New Guinea less than two hours later, with authorities cancelling a tsunami warning that was in place for a few hours.
“Wow, that was really strong and it lasted a long time,” said a woman named Davy who took refuge in the parking lot of a Bali hotel, several kilometres from where the IMF and World Bank are holding their annual meetings this week.
Organisers said in a statement that the earthquake “has not caused significant damage or any disruption to the meetings”.
“No additional action is required at this time,” they said, adding that they will continue to monitor and provide further updates as necessary.
Singapore’s Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post that a tremor woke him up in the middle of the night.
“It was brief, and apart from the lampshade swaying, everything else seemed fine,” he added.
Mr Ng is in Bali to attend the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat and ASEAN Leaders’ gathering with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.
“This public alert was posted, but life goes on as tremors here are not uncommon,” said Mr Ng sharing an image of the alert.
Some guests at the hotel in Nusa Dua, south of Bali’s main international airport, briefly fled outside after the strong tremor shook the building.
“The quake was very big. I immediately woke up and took my little kids out of the house,” Ni Komang Sudiani told AFP.
“All my neighbours were also running,” said the mother of two.
The quake was also felt in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, which is about 200km from Situbondo, the nearest town to the quake epicentre.
“I felt it for about 10 seconds. People were sleeping but got woken up by it,” Tonny Akbar Mahendro told AFP.
The tremor comes after a 7.5-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi – around 1,000 km northeast of Situbondo – last month, killing more than 2,000 people.
READ: Indonesia quake death toll nears 2,000 as more bodies are found
More than 82,000 people were displaced in the worst-hit city of Palu, 1,500km northeast of the capital, Jakarta, and 67,000 homes destroyed or damaged.
A string of earthquakes in Lombok in eastern Indonesia killed more than 550 people over the summer.
Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.