Indonesians told to ignore 9-magnitude earthquake rumors: BMKG

The rumors are baseless because no one is able to predict the magnitude of an earthquake, and when and where it will occur

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has urged the public to ignore rumors on social media platforms claiming the likelihood of a nine-magnitude earthquake following the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that jolted Banten Province Friday. "The rumors are baseless because no one is able to predict the magnitude of an earthquake, and when and where it will occur," Head of the BMKG's Earthquake and Tsunami Center Rahmat Triyono said in a press statement that ANTARA received here Saturday.

An earthquake occurs as a result of sudden deformation of blocks of rock at its source which has earlier undergone an accumulation of stress along the boundaries. The impact cannot be predicted easily, he said.

At the moment, theories can only explain that the main quake could trigger aftershocks but predicting the occurrences of a series of major earthquakes remains difficult. Therefore, people should remain calm and vigilant, he said.

They should also ignore the rumors being spread by irresponsible people. Instead, they should rely on credible sources of information, such as the BMKG and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Triyono urged.

He also called on people to be well prepared at all times by constructing quake-resistant houses, having solid furniture that can be used for protection, prepare evacuation plans and organize self-drills.

Regarding the impact of Friday's earthquake that rocked certain areas of Banten Province and its tremors that could be felt in West Java Province, the Banten Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) recorded that the quake damaged 178 buildings comprising homes, schools, and mosques, among other things.

"According to our latest data until 12:26 afternoon, 176 buildings suffered slight damage while two others incurred moderate damage in several sub-districts in three districts," Kusmayadi, acting head of the Banten BPBD, remarked.

Relief aid, comprising food and clothing from the Social Affairs Ministry and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, had been distributed, he noted.

The quake's epicenter was located at 7.54 degrees southern latitude and 104.58 degrees eastern longitude, at a depth of 10 kilometers (km) below sea level, and 147 km southwest of Sumur, or 164 km southwest of Pandeglang.

Source: ANTARA News

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