Magnitude-6.1 natural disaster shakes Indonesia, leaves dozens injured

Indonesians stand outside their office buildings after a 6.4 magnitude quake hit Jakarta on Tuesday

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 43 km.

In Banten and West Java provinces, 479 houses were damaged.

Just as people in Jakarta and its surrounding cities rushed to escape potential harm from yesterday's 6.1 richter scale quake, many also scrambled to take out their smartphones to share whatever latest news and updates there were about the earth-shaking event, even if the line between truth and lies can be blurred in such panicked times.

The quake struck around 65 miles west of the city of Sukabumi on the island of Java, at a depth of 21 miles.

"I was just sitting down, then I felt the building swaying. It's quite strong. We're all outside now". "Residents should go back to their normal activity", said Dr Daryono, head of natural disaster information and tsunami warning at BMKG. "The damage ranges from minor.to serious" cases, including partially collapsed walls.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) here on Tuesday reported that a 6.4-magnitude natural disaster hit Lebak and some of its neighboring areas, including Jakarta, Purwakarta, Bandung, South Tangerang, and Lampung in Sumatra. "I'm calling on people to be prepared, especially if you are in buildings with a weak structure", he added.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

United States Defense Secretary James Mattis is in Jakarta for an official visit.

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