Indonesia Hit by 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake, No Tsunami Warning Issued
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 20, 2013 2:45 PM EST
Indonesia has been hit by a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No immediate reports of fatalities and damages have so far been reported on the temblor that struck off eastern Indonesia. The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency ruled out any potential tsunami occurrence.
"It was quite strong actually, but it didn't last too long and everything appears to be back to normal," a certain hotel owner from Tobelo named Edwar told AFP. He said guests panicked and ran from their rooms to open space as the quake shook the grounds for a few seconds. No immediate damages was seen in the hotel as well as the surrounding area, but they will continue to inspect.
The quake struck at a depth of 63 kilometres, 110 kilometres (68 miles) north-northeast of the town of Tobelo in the Maluku chain of islands at around 1330 GMT, the USGS said.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a series of seismic fault lines enclosing the Pacific Ocean which create frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
In July, the Aceh province on Sumatra island was hit by a 6.1-magnitude quake that killed 35 people and injured 276 others. About 4,300 homes were damaged or destroyed. The Bener Meriah and Central Aceh districts were the hardest hit by the quake. Approximately US$4 million was allocated for emergency relief efforts.
Sumatra experienced its most devastating earthquake in 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake, known locally as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. The 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean. Approximately more than 230,000 people in fourteen countries died. Coastal communities were submerged in waves up to 30 meters (98 ft) high. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
The 2004 Indian Ocean/Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was the third biggest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. It had a faulting duration recorded at between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches). It likewise sent off other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. The global community contributed more than $14 billion (2004 US$) in humanitarian aid to those affected at the time.
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