Jakarta, Jan 23: An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted the Indonesian capital on Tuesday, damaging dozens of houses and sending people fleeing into the streets in panic.
The earthquake struck around 1.34 p.m. about 100 miles southwest of Jakarta, with its epicentre in the Indian Ocean. There were no immediate reports of casualties, Efe news reported.
Reports said that buildings in the capital shook for several seconds, with some being evacuated. In Lebak district of Banten province, as many as 116 houses were damaged after the quake, an official of the disaster management agency said.
A total of 13 houses were damaged in Serang district of Banten province and four others in West Java province.
Around Jakarta, panicky Indonesians fled schools, office buildings and other high-rises, the New York Times reported.
“It felt like a giant rock had dropped either in the hallway or just outside the building,” said Marcoen Stoop, a Belgian businessman who lives on the 35th floor of an apartment building in Jakarta.
“Then, the building started swaying and the swaying increased steadily,” he added, saying the rocking lasted less than a minute.
In 2004, a powerful quake in the northern part of Sumatra Island triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed around 230,000 people in a dozen countries, mostly in Indonesia.