Deadly earthquake strikes country just days after cyclone kills 174

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read

An earthquake has hit Indonesia's main island of Java killing eight people just days after the country was lashed by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.0 quake struck off the island's southern coast at 2pm on Saturday. 

It was centred 45 kilometres south of Sumberpucung town of Malang District in East Java province, at a depth of 82km.

Rahmat Triyono, the head of Indonesia's earthquake and tsunami centre, said the undersea tremblor did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.

A photo shows people inspect a collapsed house following a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit in Blitar, East Java, Indonesia.
A house smashed by the earthquake in Blitar, East Java, Indonesia. Source: AAP

This was the second deadly disaster to hit Indonesia this week, after Tropical Cyclone Seroja caused a severe downpour Sunday that killed at least 174 people and left 48 still missing in East Nusa Tenggara province.

Some victims were buried in either mudslides or solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November, while others were swept away by flash floods. Thousands of homes with damaged.

Saturday's quake caused falling rocks to kill a woman on a motorcycle and badly injured her husband in East Java's Lumajang district, said Raditya Jati, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

People salvage their belongings from a house damaged by an earthquake in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia.
People salvage their belongings from a house damaged by an earthquake in Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia.

He said about 1189 homes and 150 public facilities, including schools, hospitals and government offices, were damaged. 

Rescuers retrieved four bodies from the rubble in Lumajang's Kali Uling village. Three people were also confirmed killed by the quake in Malang district.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A photo shows the inside of a building following a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit in Blitar, East Java, Indonesia.
Eight people died as a result of the earthquake. Source: Reuters

Western Australia stares down Seroja

Residents are evacuating and taking shelter as tropical Cyclone Seroja threatens lives and homes along Western Australia's mid west coast.

A red alert calling for a 300km-stretch of coastline between Kalbarri and Carnarvon was raised by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services on Sunday.

A satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Seroja tracking off the coast of Western Australia.
Seroja seen on a satellite image on Sunday. Source: AAP

The 'category two' storm is packing destructive winds of up to 150km/h and could further intensify before it crosses the coast, due later on Sunday.

"There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately," the agency said in a statement.

Residents of Denham and Kalbarri are likely to experience gales and destructive winds and if Seroja tracks south, Geraldton may also be impacted.

Abnormally high tides, heavy to intense rainfall, flash flooding, dangerous surf and beach erosion are among the possibilities.

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