Indonesia – Strong 7.6 magnitude earthquake – Tsunami warnings


A strong earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shook eastern Indonesia today, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake was recorded at 05:20 (Greek time) at a depth of 76 km in the Flores Sea, according to the same source.

Indonesia’s seismological and meteorological service has issued an emergency tsunami alert for seismic waves.

The Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) estimated for its part that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7 and that its focal depth was very small, only 5 kilometers.

The Indonesian Meteorological and Seismological Service estimated that the quake had a magnitude of 7.5. The US Geological Survey (USGS), for its part, spoke of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake at a focal depth of 18.5 kilometers in a sea area near Flores Island, about 100 kilometers from the city of Momere.

He thus revised for the better his estimate of the magnitude of the earthquake (initially he spoke of 7.6 degrees), but for the worse his calculation of its focal depth (earlier he spoke of a focal depth of 76 km).

According to the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, it is possible that the tsunami will hit coasts that are even 1,000 kilometers away from the epicenter of the earthquake.

On the streets the inhabitants

No casualties or severe damage have been reported so far. Terrified residents fled their homes, while emergency tsunami warnings, dangerous seismic waves, remain in force.

“Dangerous waves are likely to strike along coasts within a 1,000-kilometer radius of the epicenter,” the US-based Honolulu-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned.

According to the USGS, the risk of casualties is not considered high, because the earthquake occurred in a rather sparsely populated area of ​​the archipelago, however “recent earthquakes in this area have created secondary hazards, such as landslides that can cause losses.”

Everyone ran out

A resident of the town of Momere, on the island of Flores, told the Reuters news agency that everyone “ran out of their homes” when the earthquake occurred.

Tsunami warnings for Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Southeast and South Kelevi.

At least a magnitude 5.6 earthquake was felt.

According to Alphonse Handa Bethany, head of disaster management in the town of Laraduca on Flores Island, there is no information on casualties or serious damage.

Citizens reported in their posts on social networking sites that the main earthquake was particularly felt in southern Kelevi.

Indonesia, located on the so-called “ring of fire” of the Pacific Ocean, a zone of intense tectonic activity, is often hit by deadly earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The archipelago has not yet recovered from the magnitude 9.1 earthquake that struck on December 26, 2004, killing at least 220,000 people across the region and 170,000 in Indonesia.

In 2018, Lombok Island and neighboring Subaua were hit by a strong earthquake that killed more than 550 people. In the same year, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that struck Palos in Kelevi, killing or declaring some 4,300 people missing.

In January, about a hundred people were killed when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook Kelevi and many buildings collapsed in the coastal city of Mamuju.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ, AFP, Reuters, Xinhua  

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