Moderate 5.6 Quake Stirs Panic in Jakarta, Indonesia

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck near Jakarta, Indonesia, late on Sunday, affecting Java Island and the nation’s capital. Initial reports indicate no casualties or significant damage. The US Geological Survey pinpointed the quake’s depth at 37.2km and located its epicenter 80km west-southwest of Pelabuhanratu in West Java. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency reported a slightly higher magnitude of 5.7 at a depth of 10km. Such discrepancies in early quake measurements are not unusual.

The tremor prompted immediate panic in multiple cities and villages, according to Daryono, head of the Earthquake and Tsunami Center at the agency. Despite the widespread alarm, he assured there was no tsunami threat but cautioned about the potential for aftershocks. The quake caused significant swaying of high-rise buildings in Jakarta and was strongly felt in Bandung, Bogor, and Bekasi.

Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in Indonesia, yet it is rare for their effects to reach Jakarta. The country’s geographical position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” makes it vulnerable to seismic activities. Just last year, a 5.6 magnitude quake in West Java’s Cianjur city resulted in at least 602 fatalities, marking it as Indonesia’s most lethal seismic event since the 2018 Sulawesi disaster. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, triggering a devastating tsunami, remains one of the deadliest, claiming over 230,000 lives across multiple countries, with Indonesia’s Aceh province bearing the brunt.


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