Earthquakes

4 dead after quake hits off Indonesia's Java island

Indonesian authorities say a strong earthquake that hit off Java island killed four people and damaged more than 200 houses, swaying buildings as far away as the capital

A strong earthquake that hit off Java island killed four people and damaged more than 200 houses, swaying buildings as far away as Indonesia's capital, officials said Saturday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday night's magnitude 6.8 quake was centered 151 kilometers (94 miles) from Banten province off Java's southwest coast.

Agus Wibowo, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency's spokesman, said four people died while fleeing in panic to safety in Banten and West Java. Four others were injured.

Wibowo said 223 houses were damaged, mostly in Banten's Pandeglang region, where a deadly tsunami struck in the dark without warning last December.

Hundreds of people who had fled to temporary shelters returned home, Wibowo said.

The quake was felt in Jakarta, the capital, where buildings swayed for nearly a minute. Television footage showed workers and residents running out of high-rise buildings in the city.

Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific "Ring of Fire."