TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) urged the public to be wary of buildings that had developed cracks owing to the magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Blitar, East Java, amid the potential for aftershocks.
"The potential for aftershocks still exists, and the people are expected to temporarily abandon buildings that have begun developing cracks, since despite the aftershocks believed to be of a low magnitude, buildings can potentially incur damage and lead to casualties," BMKG Deputy for Geophysics M. Sadly remarked during a press conference on Friday night.
Sadly cautioned that despite the potential for low-intensity aftershocks, the public should be vigilant since the aftershocks are feared to exacerbate damage to buildings earlier wrecked by the earthquake.
The BMKG has urged local governments to be prompt in ensuring that structures, such as school buildings and offices, built on the southern coast of Java, are earthquake-resistant.
Meanwhile, BMKG Head of the Earthquake and Tsunami Center Bambang Setiyo Prayitno remarked that although the earthquake did not trigger a tsunami, its impact on buildings should be accessed.
"Based on data obtained by BMKG, the earthquake, which according to the modeling results did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami, could cause minor damage to several buildings of public facilities and residents' houses," Prayitno remarked.
Despite an increase in seismic activity in southern Java, Prayitno urged the community to not panic and always be vigilant and follow independent evacuation steps in the event of a tsunami.
According to the BMKG, the subduction activity of the Indo-Australian Plate led to the earthquake that struck the southeast of Blitar District, East Java, on Friday at 19:09 p.m. local time.
"By observing the location of the epicenter and depth of the hypocenter, this earthquake is a type of moderate quake due to the Indo-Australian Plate subducting under the Eurasian Plate," Prayitno noted in a written statement received here on Friday.
Meanwhile, the BMKG initially stated that the earthquake detected at sea, some 57 kilometers southeast of Blitar District and at a depth of 110 kilometers, had a magnitude of 6.2, though it was later upgraded to a magnitude of 5.9.