At least 15 dead, hundreds hurt in Indonesia quake
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (Reuters) - An earthquake that shook the area around Indonesia’s ancient royal city of Yogyakarta early on Saturday killed at least 15 people and left hundreds injured, hospital staff said.
Yogyakarta is on Indonesia’s main island of Java and near Mount Merapi, a volcano that has been on top alert for a major eruption this month, but a vulcanologist in Yogyakarta said the quake was tectonic and not caused by the volcano.
In the town of Bantul, just south of Jakarta and a short distance from Java’s coast, hospital information officer Kardi said: "At least 10 people are dead, hundreds are hurt."
Earlier a hospital nurse in Yogyakarta had reported at least five deaths there from the quake, which happened just before 6 a.m. (2300 GMT) and had a magnitude of 6.2 according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
It was not immediately clear how the deaths happened, but witnesses said many houses had collapsed.
Jakarta earthquake center official Fauzi put the strength at 5.8 and said the epicenter was in the sea about 50 km (31 miles) south of Yogyakarta and had a depth of 33 km (21 miles). Yogyakarta is about 25 km (16 miles) north of the Indian Ocean coast.
There was no tsunami, he said.
Kardi said there was widespread panic in Bantul and a desperate need for more doctors and nurses to treat the injured.
A Reuters witness in Yogyakarta said many people there had fled their homes while thousands of others from areas around the city were trying to evacuate to it, many fearing a tsunami.
One Yogyakarta resident, Nani Kasidjo, said: "I was having a morning walk and suddenly I felt dizzy and then people ran out of their houses screaming earthquake."
Indonesia’s national airlines, Garuda, said Yogyakarta’s airport was closed.
Roads leading to the coast are cracked and electricity was off, witnesses said.