Jakarta, August 3: A powerful undersea earthquake that struck off the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java has killed four people and damaged hundreds of buildings, the nation’s disaster agency said on Saturday.
Four people died, some of heart attack or fatigue, as people rushed away from the coastline, Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the disaster mitigation agency told a news briefing. Four others were injured, and more than 200 buildings were damaged by the quake, he said.
Indonesia issued a tsunami warning within minutes of 6.8-magnitude quake on Friday night. The warning lasted two hours and sent people living along the coastline fleeing to higher ground.
The agency said people who took to higher ground, including about 1,000 taking shelter in the gubernatorial office in the Lampung province, had returned home.
The U.S Geological Survey put the epicentre in the Indian Ocean about 227 km (141 miles) from the city of Teluk Betung on Sumatra.
Indonesia is situated on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is frequently hit by earthquakes and sometimes accompanying tsunami.
Last year, a tsunami hit the city of Palu in Sulawesi island, killing thousands, while a crater collapse at the Anak Krakatau volcano triggered a tsunami that killed at least 430 people in an area near the latest quake.
The most devastating earthquake in recent Indonesian history was on December 26 in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia. (Agencies)