1st LD: 6.9-magnitude natural disaster strikes off central Indonesia, tsunami alert issued

17 April, 2019, 14:57 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Some residents of Luwuk fled their homes for high ground after the disaster agency issued a brief tsunami warning

The quake struck at 18.40 p.m. Jakarta time (1140 GMT) with an epicentre at 85 km southwest of Banggai Kepulauan and 10 km under the sea bed.

"We have issued a tsunami warning as this quake is potential for that", the official in charge of the agency told Xinhua over phone.

It did not say how many residents had refused to leave the high ground.

On Boxing Day 2004, a 9.1-magnitude natural disaster struck westernmost Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000 in Indonesia.

The geophysics agency lifted the warning around 40 minutes after it was imposed, it said on Twitter.

The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 17 kilometres off the east coast of Sulawesi island, the US Geological Survey said, where a 7.5-magnitude quake-tsunami around the city of Palu killed more than 4,300 people a year ago. Hence, resulted the residents to flee to higher ground.

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However tremors were still felt near Palu, causing residents to run into the streets in panic.

On boxing day December 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake struck westernmost Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000 in Indonesia. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which hit 280 km (175 miles) south of the province of Gorontalo at a depth of 43 km, the agency added.

The force of the quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction - a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

Indonesia has said the damage bill in Palu topped $900 million.

Indonesia is highly susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis as it lies in the highly seismic Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In December, a deadly tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands killed over 400 people.

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