A villager looks for her belongings at her damage house in Pandeglang, Banten province on August 3, 2019, after a strong earthquake hit the area. SAMMY / AFP
At least one person died and several were injured after a powerful undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s heavily populated Java island, triggering a brief tsunami warning, officials said Saturday.
The 6.9 magnitude quake on Friday evening sent residents fleeing to higher ground, while many in the capital Jakarta ran into the streets.
Officials from Indonesia’s national disaster agency warned the quake could generate a tsunami as high as three metres (10 feet), but it was lifted several hours later.
On Saturday, authorities said a panicked 48-year-old woman had died of a heart attack as the strong quake rocked the region.
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Four more people were injured and over 1,000 evacuated to temporary shelters, said officials, including residents of neighbouring Sumatra island.
More than 100 buildings were damaged, with some 34 houses destroyed, the agency added.
“There was thundering noise — it sounded like a plane overhead — and I was just so scared that I ran,” said 69-year-old Isah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, at an evacuation shelter in Pandeglang at the southwest end of Java.
In December, the area was hit by a volcano-sparked tsunami that killed over 400 people.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 people, with another thousand declared missing.
On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 across the Indian Ocean region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.