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Strong earthquake rocks East Java in Indonesia

At least eight die in 6.1-magnitude tremor that also caused extensive damage

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta

Published: April 12, 2021 05:45 AM GMT

Updated: April 13, 2021 10:55 AM GMT

Strong earthquake rocks East Java in Indonesia

Doni Monardo (right), head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), visits Wirotaman, one of the worst-hit villages in Malang district, on April 11 to assess the damage caused by the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia’s East Java province a day earlier, killing at least eight people. (Photo courtesy of BNPB)

At least eight people were killed by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia’s East Java province on April 10, just six days after deadly flash floods and landslides killed more than 170 in the east of the country.

The quake’s epicenter was about 96 kilometers south of Kepanjen in Malang district at a depth of 80 kilometers.

It also left 39 people injured and damaged about 1,190 houses and 150 other buildings including places of worship in 15 municipalities and districts, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

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At least eight aftershocks were recorded, the largest one being a 5.5-magnitude tremor on April 11, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said in a statement.

“The BNPB is continuing to monitor the situation and coordinate with disaster mitigation agencies in the affected areas [to arrange disaster relief],” he said.

Agency chief Doni Monardo, accompanied by East Java governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, visited Wirotaman, the worst-hit village in Malang district, to assess the damage.

He said those whose houses were damaged in the disaster would receive financial aid ranging from 10 million rupiah (US$684) to 50 million rupiah ($3,140).

Meanwhile, Caritas Indonesia (Karina), has begun a disaster assessment to gauge how much aid is needed to help survivors and repair damage.

“The human solidarity team of the Diocese of Malang is gathering information from parishes and mission stations located in the affected areas. The team has collected photos and videos and is working with Caritas Indonesia,” Father Fredy Rante Taruk, Caritas’ executive director, told UCA News.

Carmelite Brother Marco Pantja Anugrah Putra, coordinator of the team, told UCA News that the roofs of two mission-station churches were damaged in the earthquake, while the walls of others developed cracks.

“We are still waiting for updates from their priests,” he said. “We are coordinating with parishes and mission stations as well as local disaster mitigation agencies. We will distribute aid when and if needed.” 

The quake came on the heels of flash floods and landslides on April 4 caused by two days of heavy rain in the predominantly Catholic province of East Nusa Tenggara, killing at least 177 people.

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