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5.1 quake shakes Indonesian islands

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CIJENGKOL, Indonesia — A strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java on Wednesday, collapsing walls and roofs and injuring at least 64 people.

Meteorological and Geophysics Agency officials said the 5.1 magnitude quake's epicenter was 20 miles underground and near the town of Ciranggon, 70 miles south of Jakarta.

In some of the worst hit areas around the town of Cijengkol, several people were injured when walls and roofs collapsed and fell on them, said Lukas Mulyana, a community leader.

"Hundreds of houses are damaged and several totally destroyed, but we were lucky as no one was killed," he said.

Mulyana said a mosque and a school also had been badly damaged by the quake, which hit just after 8 a.m. and lasted for 15 seconds.

A nurse at the damaged Sekerwanji Hospital said 64 people were injured, four of them seriously.

Hundreds of residents refused to return into their houses as weaker aftershocks continued. Many people pitched makeshift tents in their front yards or next to the roads. Several searched through the ruins of the homes, looking for valuables they could salvage.

Ida Hamid, a mother of four, said she was having breakfast when the temblor shook their house so badly that walls collapsed.

"We were so very scared," she said as her children played in the ruins of their home. "We all fled into the fields. The sound was like thunder."

Five other people were injured when about 2,400 employees of Japanese electronics giant Aiwa panicked and tried to flee from their plant, said Subrata, a local government official.

The injured were crushed in the rush to escape. Another 35 workers were treated for shock.

The factory building was seriously damaged with parts of its roof having fallen in.

The quake was also felt in Bandung, another large city in western Java, and Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, where many people fled their homes and offices.

Wednesday's temblor occurred one month after a massive 7.9 magnitude quake struck parts of Sumatra island, killing more than 100 people and leaving thousands homeless.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" — a line of volcanically active areas stretching from the western coast of the Americas across to Japan, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.