World News

Three killed as strong quake rocks Indonesia's Java, Bali

Three killed as strong quake rocks Indonesia's Java, Bali

The search for those killed in Indonesia's quake-tsunami disaster was called off Thursday, despite there being around 5,000 people still missing.

Thursday's quake was centred 124 kilometres east of Kimbe and about 200 kilometres south-west of the town of Rabaul at a depth of nearly 40 kilometres, just before 7am local time (8am AEDT) on Thursday.

According ot the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 6.0 quake's epicentre was about 40 km north-east of Sumberanyar on nearby Java island.

Tonny Akbar Mahendro said: "I felt it for about 10 seconds".

The agency said the worst affected area was in Sumenep district, East Java, where three people died in one village and several homes were damaged.

"The natural disaster happened early Thursday when they were sleeping and the quake suddenly rocked so they didn't have time to evacuate", he said, adding that damage caused by the tremor was not widespread.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding annual meetings on Bali through Sunday.

The head of Indonesia's geophysics agency said there had been no reports of casualties or damage, although information was still being gathered in East Java province.

More news: Major 7.0-magnitude quake hits Papua New Guinea: USGS

Almost 80,000 people were displaced by the disaster, many sheltering in tents outside their destroyed homes.

The country is still working to recover from the natural disaster and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people and left perhaps thousands more buried deeply in mud in some neighborhoods of Palu city in central Sulawesi. People poured out of their houses. The archipelago is often rattled by earthquakes and occasional tsunami.

"The search and rescue (SAR) operation for the victims will end this Thursday afternoon", SAR field director in Palu, Bambang Suryo, told AFP.

"People are traumatized. They don't want to go back" to those places, Nugroho said.

"At the same time, if they ask us to help, if they're pointing "please look here, my family is under here", of course, we can't say "no", we have to dig".

In a statement, Indonesia's foreign ministry explained that foreign aid workers must first coordinate with the national team, local agencies or non-governmental organisations leading the rescue and recovery effort. Nugroho said there's no need for worldwide aid other than the four priorities identified by Indonesia.

While Indonesian workers searched, the disaster agency ordered independent foreign aid workers to leave the quake zone.


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