Natural disasters: Earthquakes

3 killed in earthquake off East Java, Bali

A photo provided by the Indonesian disaster management agency showing a man at a damaged building in Sumenep regency, East Java, yesterday. The epicentre of the quake was 55km north-east of East Java.
A photo provided by the Indonesian disaster management agency showing a man at a damaged building in Sumenep regency, East Java, yesterday. The epicentre of the quake was 55km north-east of East Java.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Some hotels housing delegates to IMF-World Bank meet rattled

Three people were killed and houses were damaged after a magnitude-6.3 earthquake off East Java province and Bali yesterday, rattling some hotels where delegates to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank meetings are staying.

The quake did not trigger any tsunami, said Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). There was also not much damage reported.

The United States Geological Survey recorded the quake at magnitude 6.0.

The three victims were residents of Sumenep regency in East Java. They were crushed in their sleep after the shallow quake struck 12km underground, according to the Indonesian disaster management agency (BNPB).

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at around 2am local time, was 55km north-east of East Java. Indonesia's most populous Java island is next to the main tourist island of Bali, where the IMF-World Bank annual meetings are being held this week.

The organising committee of the meetings said in a press statement: "There was no significant aftershock and there was no significant impact on infrastructure at Nusa Dua Bali."

BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati told Agence France-Presse (AFP): "The quake didn't trigger any tsunami for sure."

The news agency reported that some guests at hotels in Nusa Dua, south of Bali's main international airport, briefly fled outside after a strong tremor.

"Wow, that was really strong and it lasted a long time," a woman told AFP.

Most affected areas, however, were in Sumenep, which had more tremors due to its closer proximity to the quake's epicentre.

 
 
 
 

BMKG recorded 13 aftershocks within five hours of the quake, with the magnitude on a declining trend. An aftershock at 6.50am local time was recorded at magnitude 2.5.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement: "Based on our analysis of the earthquake map, the quake's corresponding intensity was felt between III and IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scale, or between light and moderate. Generally, there is not much damage impact from the quake." MMI measures the effects of a quake.

The Straits Times understands that Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the situation in Indonesia. No Singaporeans have been affected so far.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Last month, a magnitude-7.4 earthquake in Central Sulawesi killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of houses.

This came after earthquakes in Lombok, east of Bali, killed more than 500 in July and August.

The effect of the quake in Central Sulawesi was of intensity VI-VII on the MMI.

BMKG's Professor Dwikorita told Elshinta radio: "Intensity V could cause most of the items in a house to sway, with some of them falling onto the floor. Intensity VI could cause a wall, part of a house, to collapse."

She said serious damage to houses would normally occur only at intensities above V, but it is not always so in many cases in Indonesia because of the poor construction and design of buildings.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2018, with the headline '3 killed in earthquake off East Java, Bali'. Print Edition | Subscribe