No tsunami warnings were posted.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.0 quake struck off the island’s southern coast at 2:00pm local time. It was centred 45 kilometres south of Sumberpucung town of Malang District in East Java province, at a depth of 82 kilometers.
Rahmat Triyono, the head of Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami centre, said in a statement the undersea tremblor did not have the potential to cause a tsunami. Still, he urged people to stay away from slopes of soil or rocks that have the potential for landslides.
Some victims were buried in either mudslides or solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November, while others were swept away by flash flooding. Thousands of homes with damaged.
Saturday’s quake caused falling rocks to kill a woman on a motorcycle and injured her husband in East Java’s Lumajang district, said Raditya Jati, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
He said dozens of homes were damaged across the district, and rescuers had retrieved two bodies from under the rubble in Kali Uling village. Two people were also confirmed killed in an area bordering Lumajang and Malang districts, while one person found dead under rubble in Malang.
Television reports showed people running in panic from malls and buildings in several cities in East Java province.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency released videos and photos of damaged houses and buildings, including a ceiling at a hospital in Blitar, a city neighboring Malang. Authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In January, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500, while more than 92,000 were displaced, after striking Mamuju and Majene districts in West Sulawesi province.