Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Indonesia Lifts Tsunami Alert After Magnitude 6.8 Quake off Sulawesi

Strong quake off Sulawesi leaves one dead | Bangkok Post: news Quake-hit Indonesians refuse to leave high ground, says official
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 14:56

At least 20 aftershocks of Friday's quake have been recorded in south Indonesia where a 6.8 measured magnitude of an natural disaster has struck off and rattled central Sulawesi island on Friday afternoon. Indonesia's disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in Morowali district, and residents were advised to move away from the coast.

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.

While one resident of quake-hit Luwuk city reportedly died after falling while trying to flee, the agency has not reported any confirmed deaths or injuries.

Video footage from Luwuk city showed scared residents - some carrying children - running from their homes and racing to higher ground on motorcycles.

Aftershocks rippled across the east coast of Sulawesi - an island where thousands were killed in a quake-tsunami past year - as officials scrambled to assess whether there are any casualties or major damage. However, the tremors were felt there and caused people to run into the streets in panic.

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

Indonesia suffered its highest death toll in natural disasters in more than a decade a year ago, following two major tsunamis and several earthquakes, with more than 3,000 killed in Palu, also in Central Sulawesi, the site of Friday's quake.

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

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire".

The sprawling archipelago is dotted with more than 100 volcanoes, including one in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that erupted in late 2018 and unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.

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