Saturday, May 27, 2006
Severe damage has been reported in the city of Yogyakarta, with 'thousands' of buildings having collapsed and electricity and communications links broken. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the quake struck at 5:54 a.m. local time (3:54 PDT Friday) and the epicenter was offshore, approximately 25 km (15 miles) southwest of the city.
Nearby Mount Merapi, which has seen increased activity in recent weeks, had emitted a large cloud of smoke and ash shortly before the earthquake, and vulcanologists have confirmed that the earthquake has increased the volcano's activity. Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone containing the boundaries of tectonic plate that encircles the basin of the Pacific Ocean, and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Hospital efforts are being hampered by aftershocks, which the USGS have measured as being up to 4.8 on the Richter scale. The Indonesian Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa has said that the earthquake has damaged the Yogyakarta airport runway, closing it to air traffic until at least Sunday."
Earthquake kills thousands in central Java - Wikinews