Java Sea Unearths Major Earthquake Risk for Industrial Hubs


Indonesia grapples with a major catastrophe unfolding over the course of two weeks. Floods submerged much of Demak Regency, Central Java, for a fortnight. The disaster commenced on Mar. 14 and is deemed the most severe in 30 years. Just as the waters receded towards the end of last week, another no less intriguing calamity struck.

On Friday, Mar. 22, earthquakes measuring Magnitude 5.9 and 6.5 rattled the Java Sea, East Java, 37 km west of Bawean Island and 126 km northeast of Tuban, with a depth of 10 km. This seismic activity is marked as extraordinary due to its occurrence in a low-seismicity zone.

The shallow crustal earthquakes proved to be destructive, causing structural damages not only on Bawean Island but also in Gresik, Tuban, Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Lamongan, Bojonegoro, Pamekasan Madura, and Banjarbaru.

"The Bawean Earthquake M5.9 and M6.5 convince us that the earthquake generators in East Java are not only sourced from subduction zones/megathrusts in the Indian Ocean and active faults on the plains but also from the Java Sea, North of East Java," Daryono, Head of BMKG's Earthquake and Tsunami Center, stated on X.

These disasters have repercussions on socio-economic activities, particularly in East Java and Central Java, home to Indonesia's industrial centers. Specifically, the extraordinary event of the Bawean Earthquake serves as a warning of increased risk for these industrial zones.

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