Indonesia lifts tsunami warning after powerful earthquake | News | DW | 02.08.2019
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Indonesia lifts tsunami warning after powerful earthquake

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake has struck off Indonesia's Java island, rocking the capital, Jakarta. After initially urging people in coastal areas to move to higher ground, officials later ended a tsunami warning.

People ran out of their houses and offices in Jakarta after the quake rattled buildings in the city (Getty Images/AFP/D. Sagita)

Residents stand outside an apartment block

Indonesia was rocked by a powerful 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday, striking near the islands of Sumatra and Java.

The country's geophysics agency initially issued a tsunami warning, but lifted it a few hours later once it appeared that coastal regions were no longer in danger.

The quake hit shortly after 7 p.m. local time (1203 UTC), causing buildings in the capital, Jakarta, to sway for nearly a minute. Television footage showed people running out of the city's high-rise buildings.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit at a depth of 52 kilometers (32 miles), off the southwestern coast of Java. Indonesia's disaster agency said it was stronger than the USGS assessment, pegging the quake at a 7.4 magnitude.

Several hours after the jolt, authorities confirmed that four people were killed — including one man who fell to his death while trying to flee his house — and several more were injured.

Indonesia regularly experiences earthquakes due to its position on the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean, where tectonic plates frequently collide.

At least two people were killed and thousands were forced from their homes when a major 7.3 magnitude quake hit the Maluku islands earlier this month.

Last year, 2,200 people were killed when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Palu on the island of Sulawesi. In December 2004, a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed some 220,000 people across the Indian Ocean, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

Watch video 08:27

Indonesia: The sinking capital

rs/amp (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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