Indonesians flee buildings as Indian Ocean quake shakes cities hundreds of kilometres from epicentre

Indonesians flee buildings as Indian Ocean quake shakes cities hundreds of kilometres from epicentre

Residents stand outside in the street after a strong earthquake hit the area around Jakarta
Residents stand outside in the street after a strong earthquake hit the area around Jakarta on Aug 2, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

JAKARTA: A strong quake off the islands of Sumatra and Java on Friday (Aug 2) was felt hundreds of kilometres away, as Indonesians fled their homes and offices.

Jakarta resident Christabelle Adeline told CNA she was working late on the 18th floor of her office tower, around 300km from the epicentre when the building began to sway.

"(The tremors) were quite big and lasted for about a minute. Fortunately, the office was largely quiet because everyone had gone home," she said. "But for us who were working late, it was horrifying."

READ: Tsunami warning issued after strong quake strikes off Indonesia's Sumatra, Java

Ms Adeline said she and her colleagues hid underneath their desks and were eventually told to evacuate the building in central Jakarta.

Ms Lisa Pardede, another Jakarta resident, said the quake set off a wave of panic in her neighbourhood.

"People were screaming and just ran out of their homes. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But it was so terrifying that some were saying their prayers,” she recounted.

"Some are still refusing to return to their homes, fearing an aftershock."

Meanwhile, Mr Hasan Yahya, who was at a shopping mall in the capital city said the tremors initially felt like gentle swaying, before they intensified.

"The mall was packed at that time and after the tremors intensified, people began screaming in panic and scrambled towards the nearest exits," he said.

"Once we were all evacuated, some of the women and children started to cry. Everyone immediately reached for their phones to make sure that their loved ones were alright."

According to Indonesia's Meteorology and Climatology Agency BKMG, the 7.4-magnitude quake struck at a shallow depth of about 10km offshore, some 147km from Sumur, southwest of Jakarta.

A tsunami warning was issued for the coastal areas of Banten, West Java, Lampung and Bengkulu.

The quake was also felt in the city of Bandung, more than 500km from the epicentre.

"I thought I was feeling dizzy but when I saw the chandelier swaying, I knew it was an earthquake," Bandung resident Andaru Kusumaatmaja told CNA, adding that he was at home when the quake struck.

"It caused a bit of a panic. Some of my neighbours ran out of their homes."

Witnesses told CNA they did not see any damage in their respective areas.

Source: CNA/ga(hs)

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