One dead, several injured in aftermath of Indonesia earthquake

The quake struck off the south of Java, about 140km south-west of Jakarta on Jan 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - One person has died, several were injured and more than 1,000 houses have been destroyed following a quake that struck off Indonesia's Java island on Tuesday (Jan 23), according to authorities.

The quake struck off the south of Java, about 140km south-west of Jakarta, at about 1.35pm local time on Tuesday.

According to the Social Affairs Ministry, the only fatality from the quake was a resident of Lebak, which was closest to the epicentre.

The ministry said Nana Karyana, 40, died as a result of injuries sustained in Tuesday's quake, while two other residents in Lebak regency sustained minor injuries, The Jakarta Post reported.

Tuesday's quake damaged over 1,000 houses in the regencies of Pandeglang, Serang, Tangerang and Lebak.

In Jakarta, the quake damaged a home in the city and three office buildings - including one which houses both the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry. One person was injured in the incidents, the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) said.

The BPBD also noted that walls at the Jakarta Environment Agency's low-cost apartments (Rusunawa) in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, also sustained cracks.

A glass wall in Terminal 3 at SoekarnoHatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten was also shattered.

Total losses in the capital are estimated to reach up to 10 million rupiah (S$981.5 million), the agency said.

Commenting on the damage, University of Indonesia structural expert Josia Irwan Rastandi said it was normal for walls to crack during small earthquakes.

"In Jakarta, buildings are generally built well, however, shoddy construction occurs as well," Josia told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Therefore, when small to medium earthquakes occurred, it was common to hear reports of collapsed ceilings or walls, he said.

Over in Bogor regency, five houses were severely damaged by Tuesday's earthquake while 269 houses experienced minor damage. One person reportedly sustained minor injuries. Total losses in the regency are estimated at 185 million rupiah.

Tuesday's quake was followed by another on Wednesday, with a magnitude of 5.1 on the Richter scale, that struck off the coast of Lebak regency in Banten province.

No damage or injuries have been reported as a result of that quake.

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